Shang-Chi is The Pandemic’s Biggest Hit

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings led the North American box office for a fourth straight weekend, surpassing Black Widow as the highest domestic earner of the pandemic.

Image: Marvel

The martial arts action film is already this year’s biggest domestic grosser, having passed Black Widow ($183.5 million). It’s also passing The Incredible Hulk ($132 million), Captain America ($176 million), Ant-Man ($180 million) and Thor ($181 million)

The movie generated an overall $196.2 million in domestic ticket sales and on a Covid curve, a $363.5 million-and-counting global gross.

Despite the circumstances, Shang-Chi has had a strong run. It had one of the more moderate openings for a Marvel movie. Ticket sales benefited from good reviews and the fact it was available only in theatres.

Be that as it may, the film hasn’t been released in the largest movie market in the world, China. With the country working through its own films it wants to show to domestic audiences. China gives roughly 25% of the gross back to the studios. So the numbers there are often mostly about inflating the global grosses of already successful movies. We can assume $80 million might have come from China and we can make the case that the circumstances made the difference.

Hollywood is also about to release expensive new films that were withdrawn due to the pandemic or more favourable conditions. Shang-Chi success might be overshadowed by the quadruple whammy of Venom 2 (October 1), No Time to Die (October 8), Halloween Kills (October 15) and Dune (October 22) 

Nonetheless, we can’t ignore the film’s overseas gross being impacted by the ongoing pandemic. 60% of Australia is in lockdown, Korea is having a big rise in cases and 93% of Japan is compromised. Not to mention that almost all of South East Asia is closed.

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