To promote Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Ring‘s Labor Day weekend debut, burgeoning Marvel star Simu Liu not only threw the first pitch for Sunday night’s San Francisco Giants game, but he did it with style. In the now-viral video shared by the Major League Baseball Twitter account, throws a “perfect strike” and caps it off with a backflip complete with a “ten point landing.”
As the video started to trend, the Shang-Chi star chimed in with a self-deprecating joke. “That pitch was like 500% faster in my head,” Liu tweeted. “GO GIANTS!”
— Simu Liu (刘思慕) (@SimuLiu) September 5, 2021
Of course, the actor had a lot to celebrate. Despite the Delta variant wreaking havoc on previous releases, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings managed to defy expectations with an impressive box office haul. The film brought in $90 million for the Labor Day weekend, which is typically not a big movie weekend, but that’s the power of Marvel, baby. Via Variety:
Tracking had indicated a three-day total around $50 million, so the movie’s better-than-expected start (it made $75.5 million over the traditional three-day weekend) offers Disney and cinema owners alike a boost of confidence in audience’s loyalty to the big screen even as the studio moves aggressively into the streaming space. Making its debut more impressive, Labor Day is typically a slow weekend at the box office as families opt to spend time outside before summer ends. “Shang-Chi” smashed the holiday weekend record previously set by 2007’s “Halloween” with $30.6 million.
However, Disney and Marvel are reportedly still weighing if they left money on the table by not offering a day-and-date Disney+ with Premier Access like it did earlier in the summer with Black Widow and Jungle Cruise. According to Variety, the studio has just two weeks if it will do a hybrid strategy with Marvel’s Eternals or stick to its current theatrical-only release.
Obviously, looming in the background is Scarlett Johansson’s lawsuit for releasing Black Widow on Disney+, so it’ll be very interesting to see what happens after weighing the results of the Shang-Chi “experiment,” a term that Simu Liu pushed back on ahead of release.