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Eastwood's Weak Opening May Send Message to Studios

'Cry Macho' numbers suggest older Americans aren't ready to return to theaters
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 19, 2021 4:15 PM CDT
Weak Eastwood Opening May Be Message to Hollywood
Clint Eastwood appears in a scene from "Cry Macho."   (Claire Folger/Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)

(Newser) Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is the top film at the box office for the third straight weekend, while the muted reception for Clint Eastwood's Cry Macho suggests older moviegoers still aren't eager to return to theaters. Marvel's Shang-Chi, 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, the AP reports. Its 37% drop in the third weekend is the best third-week hold for any Marvel movie ever.

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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 its 2021 films. 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, celebrated the 91-year-old director's latest. To mark Eastwood's 50 years of directing, the studio said it 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 US and Canada, and $298 million globally. Copshop, an action thriller starring Gerard Butler, also struggled to make an impression. The Open Road and Briarcliff release launched with $2.3 million.

(Read more box office stories.)

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