Today marks the release of Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. If projections are correct, it’s going to be a mixed bag at the box office for the franchise’s milestone 25th installment.
The martial arts fantasy epic is still on track for an opening of $45-$55 million; though, that is enough to dislodge Rob Zombie’s Halloween remake, becoming the highest-grossing movie to open during Labor Day weekend. There was talk that Shang-Chi could get a Premier Access debut to offset potential theatrical losses. After Black Widow yielded a lawsuit, however, it was too late in the day to make a change.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek described Shang-Chi‘s theatrical exclusivity as “an interesting experiment,” but leading man Simu Liu didn’t take too kindly to the phrasing, issuing a passionate response on social media that came across as a thinly-veiled shots at his boss. In an interview, recently, the actor said he never faced any sort of pushback from the studio for his comments.
“If it’s true that I wouldn’t have had a career if it weren’t for these conversations about diversity, the importance of representation, then I need to continue to fight that battle for the people that come after me. All around me, I saw people who were taught by their parents, as I was, to just toe the line, not ruffle the feathers, not rock the boat too much and just put your head down, do your work and that’s it. And I think that as a community, we’re reaching the limitations of that kind of thinking. I might be tweeting a lot of things in the future, some of which will be absolute idiocy.”
Kevin Feige called it all a simple misunderstanding, but Chapek’s words clearly got to Liu. There’s a lot of pressure on his shoulders as a relative unknown headlining a mega budget comic book adaptation; he’s been committed and enthusiastic, though, trying to ensure fans know that Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is a unique installment.