Things to Do in Fort Wayne and Beyond

Strong showing at theaters even with football on


Greg W. Locke

Whatzup Features Writer

Published September 15, 2021

Let’s be real. This past weekend was about sports. The return of the NFL season and its endless storylines and drama owned most people’s attention.

Nevertheless, we do have a late-summer success story happening in the form of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

What a cool thing it is to have Tony Lueng and Michelle Yeoh as sudden big screen movie stars! Delightful. Shang-Chi took the No. 1 spot at the domestic box office again with an added $35.8 million in sales. So far, the flick has grossed $146 million in the U.S. and $258 million worldwide in 10 days, which is really good.

Sure, it’s a Marvel film and Marvel films always win, but it’s also a film with a mostly Asian cast and not a lot of big names, which is equally as cool. I count Shang-Chi as a win. Tony Lueng and Michelle Yeoh are treasures and that’s that!

Also at the Box

The dreaded Free Guy took the No. 2 spot at the box office over its fifth weekend of release. It had another $5.8 million in sales, bringing the high concept flick’s 31-day sales total to just under $278 million worldwide. I’d say that, in the COVID-19 era, those earnings are pretty substantial. Good for Ryan Reynolds, an actor who certainly took a lot of reps before he started to click with broad audiences.

Warner Bros.’ very promising Malignant took the No. 3 spot at the domestic box office, with a stellar $5.6 million in sales. Now let’s talk about this one.

This is where director James Wan says, “Hey, I’m actually the real deal, like John Carpenter or David Cronenberg, I swear.”

Wan’s IMDb page will blow your mind. This is a guy who has done a huge number of things that have been extremely successful, yet isn’t a household name.

While his new film, Malignant, might not graduate him to household status, it looks like another horror classic. The flick didn’t make much, but reviews and word-of-mouth are strong. Don’t be surprised if this one has legs.

The latest Candyman film continued to roll, taking the No. 4 spot in the U.S. last weekend with another $4.8 million in sales. So far, the flick has made just about $60 million worldwide in 17 days. I think this one will break the $100 million mark in theaters and make a whole lot more than that come streaming time. Chalk this one up as another success for producer Jordan Peele.

Disney’s big new adventure flick, Jungle Cruise, which I actually am dying to see, held strong, taking the No. 5 spot at the box office. It gained another $2.5 million in sales, bringing the flick’s seven-week worldwide total to just under $200 million.

Here’s the thing about this one: It’ll be a valuable property for Disney for many, many years. I could see this one growing to being considered a cult classic children’s movie eventually.

Also of note, Paul Schrader’s much anticipated follow up to First Reformed, the Martin Scorsese-produced The Card Counter, opened on just 580 screens worldwide. But it had the second highest per-screen average after Shang-Chi, bringing in a solid $1.1 million over its first weekend of release. Expect this one to hang around for a while. I’m extremely excited to see it.

If you’re not yet a Schrader loyalist, I suggest you take a look at his filmography. He’s capable of greatness, and I think this one might be on that spectrum.

New This Week

Studios feel weird this time of year. They’re hesitant. A huge part of the population is starting school and another is starting to spend all their time away from work watching football games. That being said, the releases might be a little weird for a few weeks.

Eventually, not long from now, we will enter the amazing Oscar bait season, in which a mix of horror film and prestige films color the screens. I can’t wait.

For now, this weekend will see the wide release of thriller Copshop and a limited release of Clint Eastwood’s much-anticipated new film, Cry Macho, which intrigues me. It will either be so bad that it’s good or just simply good. That’s my prediction.

I say go see it when it comes to town and, honestly, just bask in the Eastwood of it all. We’re not gonna have him much longer, and he has been a special presence in the history of American cinema. Go get your Eastwood on, OK? Do it.

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