By Jack Coyle
AP film writer
New York (Associated Press)-One of the most sleepy weekends in traditional movies, the Marvel movie “Hisashi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” broke the record for the opening of Labor Day with an estimated box office of 71.4 million US dollars. The coronavirus caused the box office to skyrocket and enter the fall.
Marvel’s first film led by an Asian superhero, “Shangqi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”, has a total box office from Friday to Sunday, which is one of the best debuts in the epidemic, second only to the previous Marvel film “Noir.” . “Widow” (80.3 million USD in July). Overseas, it earned 56.2 million USD in revenue in major markets such as France, Italy, Spain, the UK and Japan. As of press time, Shangzhi’s global revenue is close to 150 million. Dollar.
The Walt Disney Company chose to only release “Shang Qi” in theaters with an exclusive 45-day screening period.
The strong opening of “Shangqi”-predicted to be close to 50 million US dollars-is a major relief for Hollywood, which has seen intense releases during the rise in COVID-19 cases driven by delta variants in the past few weeks .
According to Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst at the data company Comscore, “Shangqi is the ultimate confidence builder in the theater and film industry.”
“This is a very important movie. This is the first Marvel movie to be released exclusively in theaters since “Spider-Man: Far From Home” in July 2019. “Shang Qi” truly proves the power of the theater-first strategy. Can attract a large number of movie viewers to the theater multiplex.”
So far, Disney has refused to disclose its future theatrical intentions, including the next Marvel movie “Eternal Clan” starring Gemma Chan and Kumail Nanjiani (scheduled to be released on November 5). Disney CEO Bob Chapek earlier called the theater release of “Shangqi” “an interesting experiment”-Canadian actor Liu Simu, who plays Shangqi, opposed this.
“We are not an experiment,” Liu wrote on Twitter. “We are weak; underestimated. We are ceiling destroyers. We are a celebration of culture and joy, and after a difficult year, we will stick to it.”
At the recent CinemaCon conference of exhibitors, some studios promised to have confidence in the big screen. Disney did not make any demonstrations, but simply screened “Hisashi”. Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, this film is adapted from a relatively little-known comic and is mainly composed of Asian or Asian American actors, including Tony Leung, Okafina and Michelle Yeoh. The audience and critics enthusiastically support it. Its freshness on rotten tomatoes is 92%, and the CinemaScore of movie viewers is “A”.
The success of “Shangzhi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” appeared on a typical quiet weekend in Hollywood-a weekend where no new Marvel movies would usually premiere. The previous record on Labor Day weekend was $30.6 million for “Halloween” in 2007. But the pandemic has overturned the once orderly release schedule. The number of movie viewers driven by “Shangqi” is not only much higher than last year’s Labor Day weekend affected by the pandemic, but also much higher than the attendance rate in 2019.