The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) continued its dominance of the U.S. box office as its new Marvel Cinematic Universe release “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” reigned for a second consecutive week as the nation’s top grossing film.
What Happened: “Shang-Chi” brought in $35 million from 4,300 theaters. Disney’s “Free Guy,” now in its fifth week in theaters, placed second with $5.8 million in 3,650 theaters and “Jungle Cruise,” now in its seventh week of release, ranked in fifth place with $2.4 million from 2,800 screens. “Jungle Cruise” is also in a simultaneous release on the Disney+ streaming service while “Shang-Chi” and “Free Guy” are theatrical-exclusive releases.
“Malignant,” the horror film from AT&T’s (NYSE: T) New Line Cinema, had its premiere over the weekend with a disappointing $5.57 million in ticket sales from 3,485 theaters, putting it in third place among the weekend’s top grossing films. Another horror flick, “Candyman” from Comcast Corporation’s (NASDAQ: CMCSA) Universal Pictures, experienced its third week in release with $4.83 million in ticket sales from 3,279 screens, which placed it as the fourth highest-grossing film.
Two other films making their theatrical premieres cracked the top 10 list despite being in relatively limited release compared to their competition: the war on terror-inspired drama “The Card Counter” from Disney’s Focus Features, placed eighth with $1.1 million from 580 screens, and the faith-based documentary “Show Me the Father” from Sony (NYSE: SONY) brought in $700,000 from 1,073 theaters.
What Happens Next: Among the new films scheduled to open on Sept. 17 is one of the year’s most anticipated titles: Warner Bros.’ “Cry Macho,” directed by and starring 91-year-old Clint Eastwood. The production is based on N. Richard Nash’s 1975 novel, and Eastwood was originally linked to the property in 1998 but opted to pursue other projects.
The film marks Eastwood’s first on-screen appearance since “The Mule” (2018) and this year also marks the 50th anniversary of his directing debut with the 1971 “Play Misty for Me.”
“Cry Macho” is opening nationwide in theaters with a simultaneous streaming release on HBO Max. The only other film in nationwide release this coming weekend is the Gerard Butler thriller “Copshop,” released by Open Road Films.
Other notable films playing in limited release are “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” starring Jessica Chastain as the controversial televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker and the science-fiction “Prisoners of the Ghostland” starring Nicholas Cage.
What Else Is Happening: Fans of the “Mad Max” need to be patient for the next offering in the franchise. According to an IndieWire report, the release of ”Furiosa,” George Miller’s prequel to the 2015 “Mad Max: Fury Road,” has been pushed back from June 23, 2023, to May 24, 2024.
“Furiosa” will focus on the early years of Furiosa, the war captain who switched sides to become a rebel insurgent in “Fury Road.” Charlize Theron played Furiosa in “Fury Road” and her younger self in the prequel will be played by Anya Taylor-Joy, who won a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award earlier this year for her performance as chess prodigy Beth Harmon in the television series, “The Queen’s Gambit.”
Joining Taylor-Joy in the film are Chris Hemsworth and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. Production on “Furiosa” will take place in New South Wales in 2022 and is expected to become the biggest production in Australia film history.
Photo: Simu Lein in “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” photo courtesy of Disney.
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