‘Shang-Chi’ Ruling Box Office In Third Weekend With $21M

Saturday AM Update: Any doubts about the health of the overall domestic box office continue to wane. Disney/Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of Ten Rings reigns atop in its third weekend with $21M, the second-best third weekend result for a September release after Warner Bros.’ It ($29.75M).

That’s a great -39% hold after a Friday of $5.8M, -40%, and the Destin Daniel Cretton-directed feature looks to stand by EOD Sunday at $176.1M.

There’s really not a lot to brag about in regards to the rest of newcomers on the chart, many of which are theatrical window releases.

Clint Eastwood’s western Cry Macho is not his best, with 53% on Rotten Tomatoes, and therefore not his best at the box office, with an estimated $1.6M on Friday and $4.7M three-day at 3,967 theaters in third, and that’s with a theatrical day-and-date and HBO Max release.

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Cry Macho will slot third, after 20th Studio/Disney’s Free Guy with $5M in 2nd place during its weekend 6, -10%.  What would the film’s grosses look like without HBO Max taking eyeballs away? That’s the long-beaten million dollar question of 2021. However, we can’t proclaim that older demos are back in full in theaters during the pandemic, not to mention given the audience reactions here of a B CinemaScore and 73% positive on Screen Engine/PostTrak.

We can’t expect the latest from the 91-year old filmmaker and actor to make that much more, even with a theatrical window. Eastwood, I hear, pulled this movie off a year ago with great deftness. Eastwood’s previous pre-pandemic release, The Mule, in which he also starred, earned a 71% on Rotten Tomatoes, an A- CinemaScore, and opened to $17.5M in the middle of December 2018, and legged out to $103.8M domestic.

Of Cry Macho‘s turnout, 79% were over 35, 62% over 45 and 36% over 55. The pic leaned a bit female at 51% with a diversity demos of 66% Caucasian, 14% Latino, 8% Black and 12% Asian/other. Best markets were West, South and Midwest. All top ten theaters came from West and Southwest.

Open Road

Open Road’s Gerard Butler feature Cop Shop at 3,005 theaters pulled in $950K. The pic is expected to file $2.475M over three days. The pic has a glowing 80% from critics on RT, but didn’t impress audiences, with 62% positive and a 39% recommend on PostTrak. How much in P&A was spent here? Because this Open Road release is just under its pandemic release openings, Liam Neeson’s Honest Thief and The Marksman, which respectively debuted to $4.1M and $3.1M. Per theater grosses weren’t that strong, even with eight of the top ten runs coming from the West Coast. Those 54% over 35 showed up, as well as 34% over 45 with 60% guys leading and a diversity breakdown of 57% Caucasian, 18% Latino, 15% Black, and 10% Asian/other.

Searchlight Pictures

Searchlight’s The Eyes of Tammy Fayehot off a great reception at its TIFF premiere, but an even less-so result from critics, who’ve grilled it at 67% fresh, did $250K on Friday and an expected $653K over three days at 450 theaters for a $1,45K theater average, which doesn’t scream that older arthouse crowds are back.

The film earned a B+ CinemaScore, and was more dominant in the big cities and the coasts in regards to grosses, with two theaters in Austin, TX making their way into the top ten run alongside NY and LA theater. Some decent numbers in the NY and LA run, I hear, but the rest of the grosses weren’t good. Upsetting, as Jessica Chastain shines here in this Michael Showalter-directed satirical biopic (and Andrew Garfield, too). Some have critiqued to me about the marketing: Did anyone know that this movie was opening? Indeed, a dilemma for all arthouse distributors as we enter Q4 and awards season: How much are we gonna spend?

Universal had its limited release of Blue Bayou in 477 theaters, earning $120K on Friday, $305K for the weekend, for a theater average of $639. The movie is 72% fresh on RT. Directed by Justin Chon, the pic follows a Korean-American man raised in the Louisiana bayou who works hard to make a life for his family. He must confront the ghosts of his past as he discovers that he could be deported from the only country he has ever called home. Chon stars with Alicia Vikander.

1.) Shang-Chi (Dis) 4,070 (-230) theaters Fri $5.8M (-40%)/3-day $21M (-39%), Total: $176.1M/Wk 3

2.) Free Guy (20th) 3,288 theaters (-377)/Fri $1.33M (-10%)/3-day $5M (-10%)/Total $108.4M/Wk 6

3.) Cry Macho (WB) 3,967 theaters/Fri $1.6M/3-day $4.7M/Wk 1

4.) Candyman (Uni) 2,820 (-459) theaters/Fri $1M (-29%)/3-day $3.47M (-27%)/Total $53.1M/Wk 4

5.) Malignant (NL) 3,485 theaters Fri $825K (-59%)/3-day $2.65M (-51%)/Total: $9.8M/Wk 2

6.) Copshop (Open Road) 3,005 theaters/Fri $950K/3-day $2.475M/Wk 1

7.) Jungle Cruise (Dis) 2,265 theaters (-500)/Fri $487K (-13%)/3-day $2.06M (-11%)/Total $112.6M/Wk 8

8.) Paw Patrol (Par) 2,269 (-551) theaters/Fri $375K (-23%)/3-day $1.7M (-25%)/Total $37.1M/Wk 5

9) The Eyes of Tammy Faye (Sea) 450 theaters/Fri $250K/3-day $653K/Wk 1

10.) Don’t Breathe 2 (Sony) 1,003 (-705) theaters, Fri $185K (-44%)/3-day $640K (-45%)/Total:$31.3M/ Wk 6

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