Who says that people don’t go to the movies over Labor Day weekend?
And who says American audiences are hesitant about going to the movies?
Hollywood, it’s time to re-think your game plan about the theatrical release schedule. It doesn’t look like Vax cards policing at any movie theaters prevented anyone from going to Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, as Disney continued to exercise a theatrical window post-Free Guy, taking their latest Marvel Cinematic Universe title to the second best-3 day of the pandemic with $71.4M, behind Disney/Marvel’s Black Widow ($80.3M) and ahead of F9‘s $70M. The 4-day per industry estimate is expected to be $89.2M. Disney is reporting $83.5M for the four-days as of this morning.
Overall estimated four-day weekend for all movies stands at $135.2M, which is 12% ahead of the 4-day Labor Day weekend of 2019 of $120.7M. Many sources have told me that moviegoing won’t be considered normal until we’re at or ahead of 2019 weekend box office levels. Well, here’s well-above normal. Oh, and by the way, MGM/United Artists Releasing’s No Time to Die is staying put on Oct. 8; there was never, ever an option for the 007 pic to move again on the theatrical release calendar.
Imax screens in U.S. and Canada drove $8M of Shang-Chi‘s weekend, or 10% of it’s overall 3-day, with a per screen of $20K, hands down an Imax domestic weekend Labor Day record.
“Shattering Labor Day box office records with an origin story new to many fans, Shang-Chi delivers an emphatic statement: people really want to get back to the movies,” said Rich Gelfond, CEO of Imax, in a statement. “It’s clear that great filmmaking plus an exclusive theatrical release is a winning formula at the box office, and this groundbreaking film has successfully launched an exciting new cinematic journey for Marvel and a strong fall blockbuster slate for the industry.”
A lot of stats to share here on Shang-Chi this morning, all according to Screen Engine/Comscore’s PostTrak:
As a testament to the pic’s buzz and how it impacted people to get up off the couch: 63% of those buying tickets to the Destin Daniel Cretton directed feature bought their tickets the day of, while 16% did it the day before, with 14% in the last week, and 7% more than a week ago. Sixty-three percent bought their tickets online, while 35% bought their movie tickets at a theater, with 2% through a Costco or Walmart package. Close to 60% saw the movie in a normal theater, while 23% chose Imax and 13% chose the premium large format experience.
Thirty-one percent of the audience were males under 25, 31% were males over 25, with females under 25 at 20% and females over 25 at 18%. Updated 18-34 turnout is 59%. Updated diversity demos are 36% Caucasian (92% grade), 22% Latino (88% grade), 18% Black (90% grade) and 18% Asian (who gave the MCU title it’s best grades at 94%). Disney exits show 61% males overall for Shang-Chi.
In regards to how people went to this blockbuster, as it’s very telling during a pandemic; it appears as though they were very comfortable: 23% of the audience went with 2 to 4 friends, 16% went with one friend, 7% came with five or more friends, families repped 20%, while 16% of those buying tickets were on a date, and 10% watched the Marvel movie alone. Per Disney polls, they report 88% general audience and 6% parents and 6% kids turning out.
The primary reason why moviegoers went to see Shang-Chi were as follows: Part of a franchise they love, that being the MCU (49%), the genre/plot (46%), came with someone who encouraged them to see it (31%), the cast as a whole (27%), heard it was ‘good’ (27%), lead actor Simu Liu (23%), Awkwafina (14%), and critics’ reviews (14%).
Citing the most influential form of marketing that prodded them to see Shang-Chi, those polled answered the YouTube trailer (23%), the online trailer (13%), the in-theater trailer (11%), word of mouth from friends/family (9%), Instagram trailers/clips (9%), TV ads (8%), Twitter clips/trailers (3%), Facebook clips/trailers (3%), in theater posters-banners (3%), and billboards/outdoor ads (2%).
Before watching Shang-Chi this weekend, 40% said they watched the trailer or film clips online a month or so before, while 25% said they watched the trailer/clips this week, and 21% caught the trailer literally the day they went to the see the picture. Fourteen percent said they never watched the trailer to Shang-Chi before seeing the movie.
After watching Shang-Chi, of the moviegoers polled, 25% said they’d buy the movie on Blu-Ray or DVD, 13% said they’d buy it digitally (Amazon, iTunes, etc) while 10% said they’d rent the movie digitally, while 15% said they’d find a way to download the movie for free (BitTorrent, Limewire, etc).
How often are people going to the movies during the pandemic in the last two months? Screen Engine/Comscore learned that of those attending Shang-Chi, 5% had seen seven or more movies over that time frame, 2% had seen six movies, 5% had seen five movies, 9% had watched four movies, 22% had seen three movies, 28% had watched two movies, while 30% had watched one movie.
iSpot reports that since the start of Shang-Chi‘s campaign, Disney spent close to $11M in TV ads that generated 1.18 billion impressions. Of the top networks the studio advertised on: NBC (15%), ABC (12%), Disney Channel (6.3%), Freeform (5.5%) and ESPN (4.1%). The top shows that aired Shang-Chi spots (based on TV ad impressions) were the Tokyo Olympics (11.1%), Bachelor in Paradise (2%), America’s Got Talent (1.8%), MLB games (1.7%) and SportsCenter (1.6%).
EntTelligence estimates that 4M people saw Shang-Chi through the end of Saturday. Activity for Shang-Chi was well spread out on Saturday, with patrons showing up throughout the day, per the industry analytics firm: About 35% of the audience came out after 7PM compared to Friday when 55% of patrons came out once the evening began.
This weekend’s chart for Sept 3-6, 2021, Labor Day weekend:
1.) Shang-Chi and the Legend of Ten Rings (Dis) 4,300 theaters Fri $29.6M/Sat $23.2M/Sun $18.6M/Mon $12.1M/3-day $71.4M/4-day $83.5M/Wk 1
2.) Candyman (Uni) 3,569 theaters Fri $2.8M/Sat $3.8M/Sun $3.8M/Mon $2.88M/3-day $10.55M (-52%)/4-day: $13.4M/Total $41.9M/Wk 2
3.) Free Guy (20th/Dis) 3,885 theaters (-55) Fri $2.1M/Sat $3.2M/Sun $3.3M/Mon $2.45M/3-day $8.7M (-34%)/4-day $11.1M/Total $94.3M/Wk 4
4.) Paw Patrol (Par) 3,004 theaters (-185) Fri $970K/Sat $1.5M/Sun $1.5M/Mon $1.2M/3-day $4M (-40%)/4-day $5.215M/Total $31.5M/Wk 3 —also available on Paramount+
5.) Jungle Cruise (Dis) 3,075 (-295) theaters Fri $885K/Sat $1.55M/Sun $1.5M/Mon $1.25M/3-day $3.95M (-21%)/4-day $5.2M/Total: $106.9M/Wk 6 — available on Disney+ Premier
6.) Don’t Breathe 2 (Sony) 2176 (-527)/Fri $585K/Sat $840K/Sun $785K/Mon $510K/3-day $2.2M (-23%)/4-day $2.7M/Total $28.5M/Wk 4 — on PVOD already
7.) Respect (UAR) 2,107 (-500) theaters Fri $313K/Sat $464k/Sun $487K/Mon $366k/3-day $1.265M (-44%)/4-day $1.63M/Total $22.2M/Wk 4 – on PVOD
8.) The Suicide Squad (WB) 1,561 (-875) theaters/Fri $230K/Sat $355K/Sun $320K/Mon $210K/3-day $905K (-55%)/4-day $1.11M/Total $54.6M/Wk 5 — currently on HBO Max for a few more days
9.) Black Widow (Dis) 750 (-300) theaters Fri $185K/Sat $264K/Sun $299K/Mon $155K/3-day $748K (-5%)/4-day $903K/Total $182.6M/Wk 9 — on Disney+ Premier, but also doubled booked at drive-ins showing Shang-Chi.
10.) Night House (Sea) 1,020 (-1,220) theaters Fri $140K/Sat $195K/Sun $217K/Mon $148K/3-day $552K/4-day $700K/Total $6.4M/Wk 3
11.) Chal Mera Putt 2 (RBE) 90 (+18) theaters/Fri $113,5K/Sat $187,5K/Sun $189K/Mon $174K/3-day: $490,5K (-13%)/4-day $664,5K/Total $2.165M/Wk 2
12.) The Protege (LG) 1,451 (-1,126) theaters Fri $145K/Sat $190K/Sun $190K/Mon $135K/3-day $525K (-68%)/4-day $660K/Total $7.02M/Wk 3