Comic book blockbusters featuring a cast of characters with superpowers don’t come cheap, and as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to get bigger, so do the budgets. Audiences demand spectacle, with the overwhelming majority of the franchise’s efforts delivering grandstanding action sequences from beginning to end that throw every penny of those massive production costs up on the screen.
However, a new report offers that Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is actually the second cheapest movie from the MCU since the end of Phase One, which makes that global box office debut of $140 million look even better when you consider the martial arts fantasy brawler cost a lot less than the majority of its stablemates.
As per the report, Shang-Chi was awarded a massive $50 million tax credit for shooting in Australia, bringing the budget down to $150 million, which is admittedly still a fair chunk of change. The shared mythology’s least expensive production is Ant-Man, which was put together for around $109 million, but that’s enough to make Simu Liu’s debut the second thriftiest effort in the series since the end of Phase One.
With the sole exception of Ant-Man, Thor: The Dark World and now Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, every single MCU project since The Avengers has come burdened with a budget of at least $160 million, so the money men at Marvel and Disney will be even happier now that the Labor Day weekend record-breaker is in a good position to end up firmly in the black before the 45-day theatrical window draws to an end.