According to The Hollywood Reporter The Asian American Pacific Islander organization has pledged to raise money to sponsor opening weekend theatre ticket buyouts of the first Asian-led and predominantly Asian cast Marvel movie. The ticket buyouts will be for the API community and non-profit API groups.
Back in 2017, the Asian American Pacific Islander non-profit groups Gold House and CAPE both patterned with the aim of giving AAPI movies a “Gold Open”, meaning they aimed to ensure that all AAPI movies a successful opening weekend at the box office.
The way in which they to intended achieve this outcome was through theatre ticket buyouts and through grassroots community marketing campaigns. (Which for any of those who didn’t already know, is basically a strategy brands use to inspire a specific group of people by creating content that is targeted directly towards them with their wants, needs etc. in mind.)
For Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first API superhero led and predominantly API casted movie the AAPI groups are trying something a little different their previous tactics. This time Gold House has partnered up with the online funding platform, GoFundMe to launch the “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings Gold Open Community Fund”, with the intention of raising money for the sponsor of private screenings that will be held for the API community and non-profit groups.
The Gold House Foundation will be donating directly to organisations and fundraisers who opt to participate in the #ShangChiChallenge, created by Ron Han and Frederick Joseph (Black Panther Challenge creator) to help children in the Boys & Girls Club and other underprivileged API youth the opportunity to see a superhero with the same racial background as them on the big screen.
“The pandemic has ruptured perceptions about APIs, led to record-high attacks and dismantled too many small businesses. One of the best ways to fight back is to fight together on the world’s biggest stages,” Gold House president, Bing Chen proclaimed in a recent public statement. “We’re grateful that GoFundMe, the API community and allies have once again stepped up to show the world what we deserve opening weekend”.
Shang-Chi Cheating the Box Office?
But what does this mean for the box office? Is this classed as tampering with box office ticket sales? This is definitely positive for the API community (especially API youth) there’s no doubt about that at all, but it could also give the movie an unfair advantage at the box office. By holding ticket buyouts the API groups (to Marvel’s benefit) ensures the sale of tickets that otherwise wouldn’t be sold. In some cases, these tickets may not even be used.
This in no way reflects actual interest movie goers may have in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. And some fans have taken to Twitter to express their disapproval. Saying that holding private screening buyouts is cheating the box office.
One user stated; “I mean thats cool but…aint this basically cheating the box office? Wouldn’t it bring in the audience without needing to do private screenings?”
Another user went on to say “if it’s good can’t it just succeed on its own merits?”. Are these valid questions we should be asking? or does the good that is done by these buyouts outweigh the unfair advantage it gives the movie in the box office? Is Shang-Chi cheating the box office?
We want to know your thoughts. Let us know in the comments below!