Box Office Normalcy


Photo via Statista

Alex Grover, Staff Writer

18 months into the pandemic, and theatres are finally starting to see the return of big box office hits with the release of “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”, only in theatres. Some other large movies released during the pandemic like “Godzilla vs Kong” or “Black Widow” have been dual releases for both box office and at home streaming services. As a result of the streaming release they’ve suffered financially.

“Shang-Chi”, on the other hand, has made almost $200 million domestically in just the fourth week in theatres. It’s already surpassed the next highest grossing movie of 2021, Marvel’s “Black Widow”. “Shang-Chi” isn’t just doing better compared to movies released earlier in the pandemic, it’s performing better compared to movies out now, topping the box office for the past 4 weeks, over others like “Free Guy”, “Dear Evan Hansen”, and “Candyman”. 

This return to form has made some people question whether the release of big budget movies during the pandemic over streaming services is still necessary. In fact, Disney’s CEO Bob Chapek said that the release plan of “Shang-Chi” would be an “interesting experiment”. Simu Liu, the lead actor for the film, responded, saying “We are not an interesting experiment. We are the underdog; the underestimated. We are the ceiling-breakers. We are the celebration of culture and joy that will persevere after an embattled year.”. 

With moviegoing and film production bottoming out to a new low in 2020, movie theaters almost went out of business for good. The success of “Shang-Chi” should inspire other properties to opt for a theatrical release when they otherwise wouldn’t have.