'Shang-Chi' tops box office for 3rd straight weekend

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This image released by Marvel Studios shows Tony Leung in a scene from "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings." (Jasin Boland/Marvel Studios via AP)

NEW YORK“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” is the top film at the box office for the third straight weekend, but the muted reception for Clint Eastwood's “Cry Macho” suggests older moviegoers still aren't as eager to return to theaters.

Marvel's “Chang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, collected an estimated $21.7 million in ticket sales over the weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday. The Walt Disney Co. release has held better in theaters than most films during the pandemic. Its 37% drop in the third weekend is the best third-week hold for any Marvel movie ever.

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“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” Marvel's first Asian superhero movie, has earned an estimated $320.6 million worldwide. The only trouble for “Shang-Chi” thus far is a lack of a release date in China, which hasn't cleared the film for release in the country, the world's largest but highly censored film market.

While “Shang-Chi” is playing only in theaters, Warner Bros. released “Cry Macho” simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max — as the studio has all 2021 films. During the pandemic, younger moviegoers have been more likely to flock to theaters, and the audience for “Cry Macho” was 89% over the age of 35, Warner Bros. said. The film, which Eastwood directed and stars in as a former rodeo star hired to bring a young man home from Mexico, opened with an estimated $4.5 million.

Warner Bros., which has distributed 44 films with Eastwood for a total of $3.8 billion in box office, only celebrated the 91-year-old director's latest. “Clint Eastwood is a Warner Bros. institution,” said Toby Emmerich, chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures Group, in a statement. To celebrate Eastwood's 50 years of directing, the studio will re-release six of his films — from “Dirty Harry” to “American Sniper” — in theaters and on HBO Max this fall.

The soft debut of “Cry Macho” allowed Disney's “Free Guy,” with Ryan Reynolds, to take the No. 2 spot in its sixth week of release with $5.2 million. It has grossed $108.6 million in the U.S. and Canada, and $298 million globally.

“Copshop,” an action thriller starring Gerard Butler and Frank Grillo, also struggled to make an impression. The Open Road and Briarcliff release launched with $2.3 million.

In limited release, Searchlight Pictures' “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” starring Jessica Chastain as the televangelist, debuted in 450 theaters with about $700,000 in ticket sales. It expands to more than 1,000 theaters next week.

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