Weekend Box Office: Shang-Chi Takes The Top Spot For The Fourth Time, Dear Evan Hansen Flops

Tell me if you've heard this one before; Marvel Studios once again finds itself atop the box office. "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings," for the fourth week in a row, has bested the competition to win the day. It was at the expense of Universal's critically-maligned adaptation of the Broadway hit "Dear Evan Hansen," which ... did not do well. Meanwhile, "Free Guy" crossed a huge milestone, and "Candyman" continues to hit the sweet spot with horror fans. Let's have a closer look at the numbers, shall we?

Shang-Chi Reigns Supreme

"Shang-Chi" won the weekend with $13.2 million, which brings its domestic total to $196.4 million. It's officially passed "Black Widow" to become the top-grossing domestic movie of 2021, and it will cross the $200 million mark any minute now. Its $363.3 million global haul will only grow as it still has some markets left to open in. However, it's likely not getting released in China, which will hurt the bottom line. In any event, releasing director Destin Daniel Cretton's entry in the MCU over Labor Day Weekend proved to be a great strategy on Disney's part. It's extremely rare that a movie can stay on top for four weeks in a row, especially taking the pandemic into account.

But that streak will, undoubtedly, come to an end as "Venom: Let There Be Carnage" will hit theaters this weekend. And "No Time to Die" is just around the corner. Still, the fact that "Shang-Chi" will probably cross the $400 million mark before all is said and done, considering the circumstances, is a big win.

Dear Evan Hansen is DOA

"Dear Evan Hansen" was this weekend's big new release, and it earned just $7.5 million. That is not a great start for a movie that has a budget in the $28 million range, not to mention the marketing spend. It boasts a brutal 33% critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and yet, it has a 90% audience score. Be that as it may, the lack of buzz ahead of its release killed Ben Platt's musical on arrival. Keep in mind, Universal opted for an exclusive theatrical release on this one, so a streaming release can't be blamed. Between this and "Cats," it seems like Universal should, perhaps, stay away from Broadway musical adaptations altogether. Then again, the memes alone may make it worth it for those of us who aren't concerned about losing millions of dollars on such endeavors.

And the Rest

"Free Guy" came in at number three with $4.1 million. It has now crossed the $300 million mark, with a total of $317.4 million worldwide. Expect to see director Shawn Levy and star Ryan Reynolds get to work on that sequel sooner rather than later. "Candyman" finished at number four with another $2.5 million. The horror flick now sits at $71.6 million, presumably with more international money to come, as $56.8 million of that has come from the domestic box office. In any event, that's great for a movie with a $25 million budget. And also great for, you guessed it, Marvel, as director Nia DaCosta is currently working on "The Marvels," aka "Captain Marvel 2." Clint Eastwood's western "Cry Macho" rounded out the top five with $2.1 million. It's earned just $9.1 million worldwide to date. It's a flop, folks.

As we look ahead, "Venom: Let There Be Carnage," "The Many Saints of Newark," and "Titane" open this weekend. That should make for an interesting battle come next weekend.