Disney's 'Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings' Hauls In $71.4M At Weekend Box Office

The Walt Disney Co. DIS ruled at the U.S. box office with its new Marvel Cinematic Universe release “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” breaking a 14-year-old record for a Labor Day weekend. The company also had three of the top five films now in theatrical release.

What Happened: “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” grossed $71.4 million, surpassing the Labor Day opening record of $30.6 million set by “Halloween” in 2007. This was the only new title opening over the weekend, playing in 4,300 theaters – the studio opted not to simultaneously release the film on its Disney+ streaming service.

“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” also brought in $127.6 million in foreign markets, although it was notable as being the first Marvel title not to be given permission to open in China despite the precedent-setting presence of Chinese-born actor Simu Lei as the first Asian actor to play the lead in a Marvel film. Chinese authorities have objected to the character of “Dr. Fu Manchu” in the original Marvel source material as personifying antiquated Chinese stereotypes, even though the character is absent from the film version.

Disney was also represented in the top five grossing films with “Free Guy,” which ranked third with an estimated $8.7 million box office tally, and “Jungle Cruise” in fifth place with $3.9 million – the latter film, now in its sixth week in release, is also being streamed for a $30 fee on Disney+, while “Free Guy” is a theatrical-exclusive release.

Last week’s top grossing film, “Candyman” from Comcast Corporation’s CMCSA Universal Pictures, placed second with a $10.5 million haul while the animated “PAW Patrol: The Movie” from ViacomCBS’ VIAC Paramount Pictures, ranked fourth with $4 million.

What Happens Next: Looking ahead, the new films going into nationwide release are the horror flick “Malignant” from AT&T’s T New Line Cinema and the comedy “Queenspins” from STX Entertainment’s ESGC STXFilms. “Malignant” is also premiering on the HBO Max streaming services.

Elsewhere on the streaming circuit, Apple AAPL is offering a filmed record of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical “Come From Away” on Apple TV+ while Netflix is presenting the animated feature “Firedrake the Silver Dragon.”

What Else Is Happening: The iconic filmmaker Federico Fellini is the focus of a new museum that opened in his birthplace of Rimini, Italy.

The New York Times reported the museum spans two historic buildings separated by a large piazza and offers screenings of Fellini’s classic works, exhibits that pay tribute to his collaborative creative artists, costumes and props from his films and new art inspired by his cinematic vision.

“We wanted a museum that would go beyond primary resources exhibited in showcases, and allow the visitor to become an engaged spectator,” said Marco Bertozzi, a professor of film at the Iuav University of Venice and a co-curator of the new museum.

Fellini's productions won the Academy Award for Best Foreign-Language Film for "La Strada" (1956), "Nights of Cabiria" (1957), "8½" (1963) and "Amarcord" (1974), and he received an Honorary Academy Award in 1992. Arguably, his masterwork is "La Dolce Vita" (1960), the controversial odyssey through Rome's hedonistic high society which the New York Times described as "one of the most widely seen and acclaimed European movies of the 1960s."


Photo: Simu Lein in "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings," photo courtesy of Disney.

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