Why the Release of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was Critical to the Movie Industry


Courtesy of Disney

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings positivity impacts the future of the movie industry.

Faith DeSio, Photojournalist

When Marvel first announced Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings back in summer 2019, fans were ecstatic. In fact, the hype for this specific character and movie has not stopped since then! Through pandemics, historic events, and major setbacks, fans have waited patiently to finally get a glimpse into Shang-Chi’s origin movie. Their wait was finally over on September 3, 2021. One student, Sofie Johnson (10), states “the movie looks fantastic and I want to see it!” Opening weekend will go down in history as heroic for all movie-goers across the world. 


Due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March of 2020, almost all movie production companies and teams were put on hold. Eventually, production began to start up again after many long months. Some companies were not about to withstand the effects the pandemic had on their ticket sales and overall revenue. Other companies also began to slowly release their new movies on streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon, HBOMax, and Disney+, instead of traditional in-house movie premiers. This “solution” was not positive overall for many companies because the companies relied so heavily on ticket sales to make a profit. 


Marvel’s second latest theatrical release, Black Widow, premiered on July 9, 2021 on Disney+ and in theaters. Due to its dual release, the movie did better on Disney+. This was expected, and it helped that Black Widow is an already established hero that is a fan favorite to many. Since the movie was available to watch at home and in theaters, conflict sparked with leading actress Scarlet Johansson because she was not getting paid her earnings made from the Disney+ portion of her contract. Unlike Black Widow, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, released exclusively in theaters. Since the film was only available in theaters, fans got to relive “how it used to be” before all the madness with the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Expectations of its release far surpassed original projections, with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings grossing over $71.4 million during opening weekend (VARIETY) and over $300 million so far (FORBES). This is impressive because this was an origin story for a brand new character and an addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This is also great news for the box office! The successful opening and ongoing popularity of Shang-Chi has led companies to see that there is still hope of releasing a movie into theaters successfully during pandemic times! 


With the release of in-person Marvel movies recently, movie-goers have been delighted to enjoy the true movie experience. As the uncertainty of pandemic times looms, one thing is for certain; the unbridled enthusiasm and upcoming movie releases have a bright future thanks to the success of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.