Newest Marvel flick wins over critics, audiences
At left, director Destin Daniel Cretton talks with Simu Liu behind the scenes during filming of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
September 8, 2021
Destin Daniel Cretton’s first major studio work, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, took the No. 1 spot at the box office over the Labor Day weekend, selling a very solid $71.4 million domestically over its first three days of release. Add in foreign sales and Shang-Chi has already sold $127.6 million. Whoa.
This makes Shang-Chi the biggest first-week success story of 2021, and maybe even since Covid started.
We’re only three days into the release of this film, and both reviews and word-of-mouth are strong. Don’t be surprised if this one ends up being one of the Top 5 highest grossing films of the year.
So far, the film is hovering in the low 70s on Metacritic, which makes it not just a financial success, but a critical one, too. And, from what I’ve heard, a win for cultural diversity to boot. Imagine that.
I know I rag on Marvel a lot, but this is one I’ll definitely watch at some point. I like the director quite a bit, the cast is very good, especially my guy Tony Leung and Michelle Yeoh. The cinematographer, William Pope, is quickly becoming one of the great technical DPs. Also, I love origin stories, and this is supposedly very much a set-up for a grand journey.
Maybe I’ll even go see this one on the big screen.
Also at the Box
Candyman continued to roll, taking the No. 2 spot at the box office, selling another $10.2 million, upping the flick’s 10-day sales total to a solid $50 million worldwide. I had a feeling this one would do well.
Free Guy took the No. 3 spot at the box, selling another $8.7 million, bringing the film’s 24-day worldwide sales total to a whopping $240 million. Good job, Ryan Reynolds.
PAW Patrol: The Movie took the No. 4 spot at the box, selling a dopey $4 million, while Jungle Cruise rounded out the Top 5 with just under $4 million.
So it’s the second-best weekend we’ve had since Covid started.
Also of note: David Lowery’s The Green Knight has now sold $17 million in the U.S., making it an official Covid-era hit film. Wow. David Lowery made an art house film in 2021 and it’s a hit. That warms my heart.
If you’re somehow not already a major David Lowery fan, I’d suggest taking a close look at his work. He’s pretty special.
New This Week
There are no major releases this week, as no one wanted to attempt to compete with Shang-Chi. But there are quite a few interesting films seeing limited release, including The Capote Tapes, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Malignant, Show Me the Father, Queenpins, The Card Counter, and Language Lessons.
Of that batch, the one that strikes me as the most worth seeing is The Card Counter, Paul Schrader’s much-anticipated follow up to his last film, instant classic First Reformed.
Schrader is probably best known for his collaborations with Martin Scorsese, and especially his script for one of the best films ever made, Taxi Driver. That being said, Schrader is, in my opinion, one of the great living American filmmakers. Of course he’s a writer first, but along the way he became an incredible art house filmmaker, and I think The Card Counter is maybe the movie I’ve been the most excited to see this year. I’ll be there the day it’s released.
Every year when the summer starts fading, I get excited. Here comes the fall. I get excited about the weather, the holidays, the vibes, the ambiance. It’s easily my favorite time of year and yet it’s so hard to find films that feel like “fall films.” Obviously there’s Halloween, Wonder Boys, The Squid and the Whale, Winter’s Bone, Days of Heaven, George Washington, and several others. But mostly I feel like there just aren’t enough “fall films.”
Send your fall film recommendations to me at email@example.com. First response: David Lowery’s Ain’t Them Bodies Saints.
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