Shang-Chi Hits Theaters September 3

As the 25th movie in the Marvel series, Shang-Chi is the first to feature an Asian cast.


Kate Smith, Staff Writer

Trilogy movies are fairly common. Who can’t watch three movies in a row! But, is anyone willing to watch a 24-movie series? 

Many Marvel fans already have…and are now anticipating the 25th movie in the franchise. This latest installment, coming out in theaters on Sept. 3 is Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. According to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, this movie stars a 98% Asian cast–including Simu Liu as the titular Shang-Chi, as well as Awkwafina, Michelle Yeoh, and also Tony Leung Chui-wai as a villain called the Mandarin.

If the name Shang-Chi sounds unfamiliar, that is because he is a largely unknown Marvel character. He originates from the Marvel comics as one of the first Asian heroes, as early as the 1970’s. His comic book storyline–according to IMDb–is that he is a Kung Fu master who fights to take down his Chinese crime lord father. Officially announced in 2019, though a Shang-Chi movie has been in development since even before Iron Man, the big screen adaptation will be the first Asian-led big name superhero movie. Feige is quoted on as saying, “We wanted to keep showcasing heroes from the comics that represent the world that goes to see our movies. So our intention was always to continue to do that.”

Despite the excitement from many, this movie is expected to rank fairly low in terms of profit. According to, the projected domestic box office total for Shang-Chi, or the amount of money the film will make in the US and Canada, is $100 million-$165 million. This sounds like a huge amount of money–and it is–but this would only place the movie at the 23rd-25th ranking Marvel film in terms of domestic box office totals. To put this into perspective, there have only been 27 Marvel movies, including 3 re-releases.

Part of the reason for this is speculated to be a lack of promotion. Many fans are feeling like main actor Simu Liu is doing most of the promoting on his social media and that Marvel Studios itself is not doing enough. Charlotte Myers, grade 11, disagrees. “I’ve actually seen a lot of advertisements for this movie, especially on spotify and youtube. I guess there could be more,” she concedes, “but I was definitely aware that it was coming out.”

Some believe there is cultural bias motivating a lack of promotion on Marvel’s part. To this, Tai Sao Kho, grade 11, says, “No, I don’t believe it’s a bias in any way…it might be a lack of money or they haven’t gotten to [the promotion of it] yet.” Reflecting for a moment, Sao Kho adds, “And maybe the actor’s just excited!” Still others have mixed feelings about the fact that Shang-Chi is being released exclusively in theaters, rather than being released in theaters and on Disney Plus simultaneously as with the recent Marvel film Black Widow

Speculation aside, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will be a landmark movie, and hopefully a solid starting point for more representation in the future from big name studios such as Marvel. Mariko Carpenter, Vice President of Strategic Community Alliances at Nielsen, shared this with  “I hope that they’ll enjoy it for the art that it is. I hope they’ll enjoy it for the talent and also see it as a really momentous occasion and event for representation for Asian Americans.”