MAJOR BOX OFFICE SUCCESS! Marvel’s Shang-Chi Lands Labor Day Weekend Record With Ease

I haven’t always been the biggest fan of superhero movies, but you can’t deny the fact that they bring people to the cinema. Marvel might be the thing that helps theaters survive this last wave of the pandemic.

The studio’s latest release, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, had a theatrical-only release this past weekend, and it did some pretty insane numbers.

It made $94 million in its first four days of release setting a new high mark for the Labor Day weekend. The previous record for the holiday weekend was just a little over $30 million for the 2007 version of Halloween.

Shang-Chi’s three-day total was $75.5 million, which means it was the second-biggest traditional opening weekend of the pandemic, behind Black Widow’s $80 million debut.

At the international box office, ‘Shang-Chi’ amassed $56.2 million in key markets such as France, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and Japan. The film doesn’t have a release date in China, which is an important territory for Marvel movies. Globally, ‘Shang-Chi’ has made $146.2 million so far.

This is outstanding news. As we reported last week, predictions had Shang-Chi closer to the $50 million mark. I even questioned whether it’d hit $45 million.

So yeah, this is very good news for theaters because it might just convince big studios that a theatrical-only release is the way to go, as opposed to the hybrid streaming release strategy.

Last weekend’s champ, Universal’s thriller ‘Candyman,’ slid to second place, collecting $10.5 million over the weekend and an impressive $13 million through Monday. The horror film, which is playing only in theaters, has made $41 million to date, a strong result given its $25 million production budget.

Marvel’s ‘Shang-Chi’ Makes $8.8 Million In Thursday Night Previews, What Does This Mean For The Weekend?

All eyes are on the Disney/Marvel flick, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, this weekend as theaters hope it brings people out in droves. It’s the first big superhero film to have an exclusive theater release since the pandemic.

During its Thursday night preview, it made a decent $8.8 million. That’s over $1 million more than F9 made back in June.

Some people have criticized Disney for releasing this film over Labor Day weekend, which is typically a slow time at the box office, but in these weird times, you try everything and hope something sticks.

Experts believe Shang-Chi could make around $45 million this weekend, which would be a super impressive number. If it reached that number, it would break the record for highest-earning film over a Labor Day weekend. That record is currently held by the 2007 ‘Halloween‘ film which earned around $30 million.

So perhaps this is why Disney chose this date. Maybe they’re hoping to turn some positive press by owning a weekend no studios typically care to own.

We’ll see how it plays out for them. I’m not entirely confident this film gets to $45 million, but I do think it’ll make over $30 million.

It’s worth noting the film is getting rave reviews from critics. It currently sits at a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’ Beats ‘Black Widow’ At The Box Office

Space Jam: A New Legacy‘ may have been slammed by critics, but it’s currently celebrating a major victory at the box office.

LeBron James and the animated Looney Tunes crew grabbed the top spot at the box office this past weekend, bringing in $31.6 million in ticket sales. Many predictions had it bringing in around $20 or $25 million, so the $31 million is a nice surprise.

And even more impressive, it beat Marvel’s ‘Black Widow‘ which brought in just $26.3 million during its second weekend inside theaters. It was a major drop for the superhero flick. A 67% decline from its opening weekend, which some are blaming on its Disney+ release.

Movie theaters are not happy with Disney right now. They believe their new release strategy is costing them ticket sales, and you know what? They’re probably right. If users couldn’t rent Black Widow from their couch on Disney+, the second weekend numbers probably would have been much higher inside theaters.

Without a hybrid release, NATO predicts that ‘Black Widow’ would have secured a much larger opening weekend, somewhere north of $92 to $100 million. And while the film soared past the opening weekends of recent releases like ‘A Quiet Place 2’ and ‘F9,’ its ticket sales quickly dropped off. In its sophomore outing, ‘Black Widow’ collected $26 million, a huge 69% decline. Or, as NATO put it, a ‘stunning second weekend collapse in theatrical revenues.’

But at the end of the day, it’s a new world. Studios are trying to figure out how they can make the most money possible, and right now, the method that seems to work best is this hybrid release.

Will they continue with this streaming/theatrical release when (hopefully) things are back to normal in a year or so? Who knows, but you can bet theaters are going to fight against it.

Sources Say Chris Evans Returning To ‘Captain America’ Role But He Says…NO?

A new report from Deadline claims Chris Evans is planning on reprising his role as Captain America in an upcoming movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The report states that it won’t be a ‘Captain America’ movie, but he will instead pop up in another Avengers’ standalone flick.

These insiders didn’t give any other details, so the report was basically, “We heard he might return to some Marvel movie sometime in the future.”

As the rumors spread online, Evans jumped on his Twitter account to write, “News to me,” with a shrug emoji attached to the tweet.

He didn’t say anything else on the report and Marvel has not commented on the speculation either.

It’s worth noting that Evans has a bunch of projects lined up that have nothing to do with Captain America. He will be voicing Buzz Lightyear in Pixar’s ‘Lightyear‘ film, which is set to be released in 2022.

He will next star opposite Ryan Gosling in ‘The Gray Man,’ which will reunite him with his ‘Avengers’ directors Joe and Anthony Russo.

So yeah, he’s doing just fine outside the Marvel Universe.

Olivia Wilde Set To Direct “Secret” Female-Centered Marvel Movie At Sony

Olivia Wilde was able to celebrate some huge news yesterday when sources leaked that she just signed a deal to direct and develop a secret Marvel film revolving around a female character in the universe.

And Wilde dropped a major hint about the character in this simple tweet…

It’s looking like the story will be centered on Spider-Woman.

The Spider-Woman character has actually been the alter ego of several characters in the Spider-Man timeline over the years including Gwen Stacy, Mary Jane Watson and Jessica Drew, who was the first to sport the costume in the late 1970s. Since the concept is being completely revamped by Wilde, it’s unknown the direction the studio will go with her.

Apparently, Marvel has been trying to get this into production since the beginning of the year, and Wilde was close to passing on it, but the idea of creating her own superhero franchise was too lucrative to skip out on.

Around the industry, more and more female filmmakers are getting their shot at directing big-budget comic book movies. Nia DaCosta most recently landed the Captain Marvel 2 job at Marvel.

I’m not a huge fan of superhero films. It doesn’t matter if they’re directed by a man, a woman, or a hippopotamus.

But I know a lot of people love them. They are the hot thing right now, so this is big news for Wilde.

‘Captain Marvel’ Sequel Set To Be Directed By ‘Candyman’ Director Nia DaCosta

You’ve probably heard Nia DaCosta’s name thrown around a lot lately, mainly because she directed the highly anticipated reboot of Candyman, which is set to be released in October.

And it looks like you’ll be hearing her name even more because she just signed a deal to direct the upcoming Captain Marvel sequel.

Marvel has not commented publicly on the deal, but the reports make it clear that a deal is in place.

DaCosta takes over for Anna Bodn and Ryan Fleck, who directed the first pic to massive box office success. Marvel is known for switching up its directors on its popular franchises like ThorIron Man and Captain America to give the next installment a fresh voice, and had been meeting with candidates for the past couple of months.

Obviously DaCosta was the most impressive candidate. Brie Larson is expected to return for this sequel. No word on when filming might begin, but we’re thinking sometime next year. It’s scheduled to hit theaters in July of 2022.

Congrats to DaCosta! This is a huge deal.

Chris Evans Reveals He Initially Turned Down Captain America Role Due To Anxiety

Chris Evans might look like he has it all together, but inside, he struggles with anxiety like the rest of us. In fact. his anxiety was so bad, it almost prevented him from taking the Captain America role.

During a recent episode of The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast, Evans explained that he initially turned down the role.

He explained that when he was first called to audition, he was going through a weird time in his life. He was experiencing mini panic attacks on set and questioning if he wanted to continue acting.

They were enough to throw me a bit and enough to make me a question, like I said earlier, if I was on the right path. Sometimes it takes a little bit of a nightmare to wake you up. I really started to think, ‘I’m not sure if this is the right thing for me. I’m not sure if I’m feeling as healthy as I should be feeling.'”

So when Marvel called him up wanting him to audition, he thought about it for a day, and then turned them down.

But Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige really wanted Evans. He invited Evans to a meeting at the studio, and while it went well, Evans left still thinking he was going to say no.

I left Marvel. I said, ‘You know, I’ve said no to this a couple times and I woke up feeling pretty good. I’m going to stick to my guns’. I called my team and I said, ‘Look, I’m passing. Thank them but no thanks.’

But still, Feige wanted him, so he offered him the part without having to audition. He gave Evans the weekend to think about it.

I took the weekend and I went to a few different therapists. I had never really been to therapy before. Just, you know, talked to a few different people.

I had a lot of people just say to me—they understood where I was coming from—but they said it sounded like I was making decisions based on fear, which is not untrue. They said, ‘You can’t do that. You can’t live life that way.’

So he took the role and now he’s happier than ever. He claims it was the “best” decision he’s ever made.

And while most of us can’t relate to the specific situation of starring in one of the biggest movie franchises in history, we can relate to the feeling of wanting to turn down an opportunity out of fear.

Whether it’s fear of failure, the added pressure, or just general anxiety, we’ve all felt it.

Sometimes you need to say “yes” to move forward in life. Even when it scares you.

Robert Downey Jr. Declined To Campaign For Oscar For His Tony Stark Portrayal

As you all know, I’m not a huge Marvel/Superhero fan; however, it would be hard for anyone to ignore Robert Downey Jr.’s performance in the films as Tony Stark/Iron Man.

He’s one of the best parts of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and there were talks of him joining the Oscar race for his role.

But during a recent interview on The Howard Stern Show, Robert admitted he told them “let’s not” when it came down to campaigning for an Oscar.

He also brought up Martin Scorsese’s recent comments on superhero films not being cinema, which we covered yesterday.

Robert was pretty sarcastic about the whole thing.

I’ve always had other interests, and according to Scorsese, it’s not cinema. I gotta take a look at that, ya know?” I mean, it plays in theaters. I appreciate his opinion, because I think it’s like anything — we need all of the different perspectives, so we can come to center and move on,

Stern then asked Robert if he believed Scorsese was jealous of Marvel’s success.

Of course not … In his view, and by the way, there’s a lot to be said for how these genre movies — and I was happy to be a part of the problem, if there is one — denigrated the art form [of] cinema. By the way, when you come in like a stomping beast and eliminate the competition in such a demonstrative way, it’s phenomenal

Damn. Those are fighting words. He was trying to be subtle with his snark, but we all see it.

Watch New Trailer For ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ (ENDGAME SPOILERS)

If you haven’t watched ‘Avengers: Endgame’ and you have plans to, then you probably want to hold off on this new trailer for ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’

In fact, you should probably stop reading this right now, ’cause we’re about to travel to Spoil Town USA.

The three-minute trailer, released Monday, shows Peter Parker (Tom Holland) and Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) grieving the loss of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), the latter having perished at the end of Endgame. Parker quickly reveals to police officers (in his Spidey costume, of course) that he’s going on vacation with his friends.

This trailer also confirms that there is an MCU multiverse, “one in which Gyllenhaal’s Beck is from another Earth apparently caused by Thanos’ snap tearing a hole in the dimension.”

Yeah, there is a lot going on and I only understand 5% of it. Check out the trailer below. Spider-Man: Far From Home will hit theaters July 2, 2019.

‘Avengers: Endgame’ Crosses $2 Billion Mark, Becomes Second-Highest Grossing Movie Of All Time

Well, it looks like Avatar’s time at the top is coming to an end. ‘Avengers: Endgame‘ just crossed the $2 billion mark at the global box office this past weekend.

In just its second weekend inside theaters, the superhero flick has become the second-highest grossing film of all time with a cool $2.189 billion. It’s just above Titanic’s $2.187 billion total.

The film made $145 million domestically in its second weekend, which is pretty freaking impressive. Most films would kill to have that number during their OPENING weekend.

Overseas, Endgame is now the second-highest-grossing release of all time with $1.57 billion at the international box office, second only to Avatar ($2 billion). Endgame‘s top grossing international markets are China ($575.8 million), the U.K. ($89.9 million), Korea ($82.1 million),  Mexico ($61.6 million) and Brazil ($56.3 million).

For reference, it took Avatar 47 days to hit the $2 billion total. Avengers did it in just 11 days, which means it’s likely that it will become the highest grossing movie of all time by the end of the month.

It’s funny because Disney purchased Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion, which sounded like a high number at the time, but obviously it was an incredibly smart decision.