Haters thought ‘Shang-Chi’ would flop. Stock-photo Simu Liu is having the last laugh

A man smiling and pointing at coworkers in a work meeting
A stock photo of Simu Liu, center, from “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” before his acting career took off.
(FatCamera / Getty Images)

“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” might as well be called “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Eight Figures” after raking in an estimated $90 million at the domestic box office over the holiday weekend.

In addition to shattering the all-time Labor Day weekend record, the latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe also defied skeptics’ expectations — and star Simu Liu is laughing all the way to the bank.

In snarky response to his haters, the Canadian actor tweeted on Monday an old image of himself smiling and pointing at a computer screen from his pre-Hollywood days as a model for stock photos.

“Me laughing at the people who thought we’d flop,” Liu captioned the picture, which has amassed more than 247,000 likes on Twitter.

‘Shang-Chi’ pulled in an estimated $90 million in ticket sales U.S. and Canadian theaters over the four-day weekend.

Sept. 7, 2021


Before Liu made his historic MCU debut as the studio giant’s first lead superhero of Asian descent, he booked a one-time gig in the stock-photo business — which means myriad images of the action hero leading fake work meetings, interacting with fake colleagues and posing in a construction helmet are officially immortalized in textbooks, magazines and, of course, on the internet.

Though Liu has jokingly expressed regret previously for selling his face to the stock-photo industry forever (“for 100 bucks cash”), his modeling past sure came in handy this week when trolling “Shang-Chi” cynics.

For good measure, the “Kim’s Convenience” alum also reacted to various YouTube videos calling “Shang-Chi” a “disaster” and a “flop,” with a triumphant “LOL” on his Instagram story.

The Boys & Girls Club of San Gabriel Valley hosted a private screening of ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ over Labor Day weekend.

Sept. 5, 2021

When reports first surfaced that “Shang-Chi” was on track to make domestic box office history, Liu welcomed the good news by tweeting, “Let’s. Freaking. Go.”

The movie’s groundbreaking performance comes weeks after Disney CEO Bob Chapek controversially referred to the studio’s release strategy for “Shang-Chi” as an “experiment.” (Unlike its other pandemic-era titles, Disney opted to give “Shang-Chi” an exclusive 45-day theatrical window before releasing the film on Disney+.)


Addressing Chapek’s remarks, Liu tweeted at the time, “We are not an experiment. We are the underdog; the underestimated. We are the ceiling-breakers. We are the celebration of culture and joy that will persevere after an embattled year. We are the surprise. I’m fired the f— up to make history on September 3rd; JOIN US.”