The Labor Day weekend brings us the 25th MCU entry with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. It should have no trouble dominating the charts over the holiday, but it could also hit the lowest mark (or close to it) as far as openings go for the vaunted franchise. You can peruse my detailed prediction post on it here:
Every single Marvel entry has debuted in first place and this will certainly be no different. The Incredible Hulk holds the distinction of smallest start with $55 million. With the extra Monday factored in, my high 50s projection gets Rings just past it. My estimate would also give it the lowest traditional Friday to Sunday beginning.
Could my take be underestimating its potential? Absolutely. Reviews are solid and word-of-mouth should be strong. However, it may have a slight disadvantage due to unfamiliarity of its characters. We are in strange territory for Disney’s most valuable series. Labor Day is usually a time when studios do not release would-be blockbusters. Prior to this, the highest earner premiering picture over the weekend was 2007’s Halloween at $30 million. I wrote all about that here:
One thing that is rather consistent over Labor Day is that the summer holdovers tend to hold steady. In fact, many increase their haul from the previous late August frame. I expect this to hold true for the family fare – Free Guy, PAW Patrol: The Movie, and Jungle Cruise.
Candyman had a sweet opening (more on that below) and I don’t anticipate it losing 50% of its audience or more like most horror titles do. That is primarily due to the holiday. It could fall to the low teens. If so, it could find itself in a battle for #2 with Free Guy and Ryan Reynolds may have the slight edge. The four spot could be close between Patrol and Cruise.
With all that, here’s how I have the Friday to Monday Labor Day box office shaking out:
1. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Predicted Gross: $58.9 million
2. Free Guy
Predicted Gross: $14.2 million
Predicted Gross: $13.4 million
4. Jungle Cruise
Predicted Gross: $6.9 million
5. PAW Patrol: The Movie
Predicted Gross: $6.7 million
Box Office Results (August 27-29)
Moviegoers were ready to call out the name Candyman again as the sequel/reboot opened at the most generous end of prognoses at $22 million. That bests my $17.3 million forecast. Nearly hitting its $25 million budget out of the gate, Universal has something to buzz about today. It also made history as Nia DaCosta is the first black woman to direct a #1 debuting feature.
Free Guy was runner-up after two weeks on top with $13.1 million, right on pace with my $13 million prediction. The total is $78 million as it zooms toward the century mark.
PAW Patrol: The Movie was third with $6.6 million (I said $6.1 million) for a decent two-week tally of $24 million.
Jungle Cruise took fourth with $5 million compared to my $4.6 million take. The Disney adventure is perched at $100 million and it’s no accident that the studio announced its sequel today.
Don’t Breathe 2 rounded out the top five with $2.8 million, on target with my $2.7 million projection. The horror sequel has made $24 million overall.
And that does it for now, folks! Until next time…