Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings came out in early September, and promptly broke the record for the largest Labor Day weekend opening ever. (It’s thanks to Morris and his adorable butt of a face that we get Venom: Let There Be Carnage two weeks early.) The Marvel Cinematic Universe movie is now up to $183.4 million at the domestic box office, which makes it the highest grossing movie to be released during the 2020-21 pandemic to date. The previous title-holder: another MCU flick, Black Widow.
Shang-Chi accomplished this feat on a pure theatrical window, versus the controversial day-and-date Disney+ Premier strategy of Black Widow; the studio recently announcing that the Marvel Asian American superhero feature will be available free to Disney+ subscribers on November 12, Disney+ Day. The success of Shang-Chi at the domestic box office encouraged Disney to stick with a theatrical window release pattern for its remaining titles on its 2021 slate rather than push them to Disney+.
Looking ahead to the rest of 2021, the only films I could see maybe topping Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings‘s box office gross are No Time to Die or two other MCU movies, Eternals and Spider-Man: No Way Home. Unless I see Licorice Pizza 34,000 times, then that could be number one. Honestly, I might. Meanwhile, Shang-Chi is number six at the international box office for 2021, behind Hi Mom (a staggering $841 million), F9, Detective Chinatown 3, Godzilla vs. Kong, and Black Widow.