The pandemic era has been a decidedly mixed bag for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with the expansion into episodic storytelling on Disney Plus bringing plenty of critical acclaim and no shortage of awards season glory, but the feature film side of the franchise hasn’t experienced the same sort of joy.
Black Widow is poised to end its theatrical run as the lowest-grossing blockbuster since Captain America: The First Avenger a decade ago, and things are arguably looking even bleaker for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. A lot of fans have made it clear they’re not risking a trip to the theater for Destin Daniel Cretton’s fantasy martial arts epic, which has been reflected in the movie tracking for the MCU’s worst box office opening weekend yet.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek recently explained the decision to keep Shang-Chi away from Premier Access and hand it a brief 45-day theatrical window as an “interesting experiment for us”. Star Simu Liu isn’t taking that lying down, and he issued a fiery response on social media, which you can see below.
While we certainly hope it doesn’t turn out to be the case, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings could very well end up as the MCU’s first major bomb, through no fault of its own. Being denied a Chinese release definitely isn’t going to help, but it would be terrible for the cast and crew if any sequel potential was nixed due to a poor box office performance, and the way the industry looks at the moment there are no guarantees it’ll even be able to surpass The Incredible Hulk‘s franchise-low $264 million haul.