The early reviews for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings have been hugely positive, with the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s martial arts fantasy epic officially certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes after securing an impressive 92% rating from close to 100 reviews. However, that’s no guarantee of commercial success in the pandemic era.
Black Widow may have broken records when it launched to $80 million at the domestic box office and over $150 million globally in July, but the theatrical industry hasn’t maintained any level of consistency since. In fact, the Delta variant has made things worse than they’ve been for a while, with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings currently tracking for a record low MCU opening of between $35 million and $55 million.
Nine weeks after Simu Liu’s title hero debuts, Chloe Zhao’s Eternals is scheduled to hit theaters, but that might not remain the case for much longer. According to a new report, if Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings bombs, the MCU’s millennia-spanning cosmic blockbuster could end up being hit with another delay.
Kevin Feige recently refused to confirm of deny if Eternals would be shuffled onto Disney Plus Premier Access in an attempt to recoup any potential loss of big screen earnings, so maybe the Marvel Studios head honcho is holding off on making that call until we get a clear picture of how Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is set to perform.
It’d be a crying shame for a movie that’s been lauded as one of the MCU’s best origin stories to go down in the history books as the franchise’s first genuine flop, so let’s hope that it doesn’t happen.