“Black Widow” Set A New Pandemic Box Office Record

July 12, 2021 / Posted by:

Movie industry people were very excited to see how well Black Widow did at the box office this weekend.  The newest Fast and the Furious movie, F9, had the biggest movie opening since 2019 and so industry folks were excited that despite the Coronavirus pandemic rocking our lives to Hell the last two years, people were still willing to sit in a room with each other for hours at a time. Because Black Widow came out on Disney+ the same day it was released in theaters, time would tell if the industry was really coming back or if people wanted to stay home and watch from their couch. The verdict is in: BOTH MAKE LOTS OF MONEY!

The Hollywood Reporter says that Black Widow pulled in $80 million domestically–beating F9 as the biggest opening since Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker–as well as $78.8 million internationally making this an almost $160 million opening weekend for Scarlett Johansson. But that’s not all. Many people paid an extra $30 to watch it on Disney+ Premium Access. And that alone brought in $60 million. So in total, Black Widow pulled in $218.8 million. Thank God, I was worried the pandemic might bankrupt Marvel and Disney–we know they’re strapped for cash.

Execs took a victory lap about Black Widow‘s success. Kareem Daniel, Chairman of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution, said:

Black Widow’s strong performance this weekend affirms our flexible distribution strategy of making franchise films available in theaters for a true cinematic experience and, as COVID concerns continue globally, providing choice to consumers who prefer to watch at home on Disney+.”

And Alan Bergman, Chairman of Disney Studios Content, said:

“It’s incredible to see audiences enjoying Black Widow after two years without a new Marvel Studios film, and this spectacular opening weekend shows just how eager fans have been to see this beloved Avenger in her own story. There’s no question it’s been worth the wait – [director] Cate Shortland, Scarlett Johansson, and the Marvel Studios team have delivered an exceptional film that continues a legacy of creative excellence as the Marvel Cinematic Universe expands and enters a new era.”

Other successful pandemic releases also had great weekends; F9 continued pulling in tons of money and helping the internet create memes, and now the film is approaching $550 million in global sales and $141.3 million domestically. Meanwhile, A Quiet Place Part II crossed the $150 million mark domestically in its seventh week of release.

And it turns out that releasing the numbers for Black Widow‘s streaming sales was a ballsy move, as THR says that the industry has been talking about it ever since. The stats showed that overall viewership dropped steeply after Friday, which normally doesn’t happen with Marvel movies as people go all throughout the weekend–so that may have been a result of the at-home release. And analysts wondered how much money was lost when one household spends $30 on a movie instead of $15 per movie theater ticket. However, Disney does keep every single one of those $30 whereas they split ticket sales with theaters.

So in summary: Disney is rich AF and will continue to be, as will all the other major movie studios. As for Scarlett, she’s probably heard all those money-printing machines whirring all weekend and like Daniel Craig before her will soon come out with a follow-up to her announcement about being done playing Black Widow which will read: “AACCCCCTUUUALLLLLLYYYYYY what I meant was…”

Pic: YouTube

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