Two years ago when Kevin Feige announced at San Diego Comic-Con that an obscure Marvel hero named Shang-Chi, portrayed by newcomer Simu Liu, was about to get his own film I was excited but skeptical.
With Phase Four becoming a chance for Marvel Studios to finally tell more and more diverse stories the notion of an Asian superhero getting their own movie was thrilling but it felt like the franchise was piggybacking off of Black Panther‘s success.
Not to mention the fact that when I did research on the character he was known as a stereotypical Kung Fu Master instead of just being a cool superhero with special powers.
Even when the first teaser for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings dropped I was pleased with the look of the movie but I ultimately didn’t think it would be that great. Fast forward a few months later and suddenly the critic and fan reactions for the film are pouring in describing a film with some of the best action scenes in the MCU as well as being an incredibly fun movie.
In fact, the overwhelmingly positive word-of-mouth continued to stream in through the air waves and the film shattered all expectations, making nearly $100 million during the four-day Labor Day weekend, silencing all the naysayers in the process.
Now, after its fourth week of success at the box-office (becoming only the third Marvel movie to stay #1 at the box-office for four straight weeks alongside Black Panther and Guardians of the Galaxy) Shang-Chi has only broken more ground, becoming the highest-grossing movie at the domestic box office. And while all of this success for the incredibly deserving latest addition to the MCU sounds great on the surface there are a lot of variables to the film’s box-office triumphs(?)
Yep. I’m predicting it now. Spider-Man: No Way Home is bound to be the first film during the pandemic-era to make a billion dollars. And Shang-Chi is another major reason why.
One week ago the highly-anticipated No Way Home trailer dropped and unsurprisingly the fandom shattered the internet for days on end about the trailer. It broke the record for most views of a trailer in a day with 355, 500, 000 views, roughly seven million more views than Endgame which previously held the record. That just goes to show the level of excitement revolving around this film.
And now Shang-Chi, an obscure Asian Marvel superhero that a lot of people didn’t know about, has shattered Labor Day box-office records and grossed 71.3 million with its domestic box-office earnings over the opening weekend and is set to make more money in its first four days than Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Doctor Strange! And that’s during the scary throes of the pandemic!
The Rise of Skywalker has opened to a $374 million opening weekend at the box-office globally, which is by no means a failure, but it is the lowest-grossing opening weekend of the sequel trilogy. And with the mixed reviews and poor Rotten Tomatoes score, it’s very clear that The Rise of Skywalker may be the first Star Wars film under Disney, besides Solo: A Star Wars Story, that’ll have a hard time reaching a billion dollars.
There are several diehard Star Wars fans who are going to see the film multiple times but there are others who have no desire to see the hodgepodge of a disaster again on the big screen. Leastwise, the global audience who will never be as kind as US audiences.
The percentage of people going to see the film will drop substantially over the next week and then what? How many more people will continue to support this film that let them down so much?
The Last Jedi oozed its way to making $1.33 billion even despite the outrage poured on by fans. But opposed to The Rise of Skywalker, The Last Jedi was actually pretty good. It was cinematographically enticing and it was creatively imaginative. The Rise of Skywalker barely has any appeal other than its characters who we Star Wars fans have grown to love so much. But are they enough?
Marvel Studios has had plenty of milestones in the franchise’s history, from having movies that have won historic Oscars to becoming the franchise with the highest-grossing movie of all time. And yet, Marvel Studios has reached yet another milestone in its decade-long run.
For the first time in the franchise’s history, every Marvel film that has come out has made over a billion dollars. Captain Marvel made $1.1 billion dollars. Avengers: Endgame has made $2.8 billion dollars! and is still making money. And now Spider-Man: Far from Home has become the first Spider-Man movie to cross a billion dollars. Wow!
I applaud Marvel Studios for building this franchise to this point. That many people have grown such an appreciation for these movies that we have sent all three films over a billion dollars. I love it!