Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh play as Natasha and Yelena in Marvel’s “Black Widow”.
“Black Widow” stole the pandemic-era cash crown.
The latest Marvel film grossed $ 80 million on its box office debut, the most of all films released after the Covid epidemic. According to Comscore, around 81% of the theaters were open to the public at the weekend.
Universal’s “F9” was the previous record holder, having raised $ 70 million in its three-day launch last month in theaters.
Walt Disney also announced that it had raised more than $ 60 million worldwide from sales of the film through Disney + Premier Access. This is the first time the company has shared information about movie sales from its streaming service.
“This is an unprecedented way of covering the opening weekend business for a movie, but Disney deserves some credit for detailing what was generated at the box office and what was earned through streaming,” said Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at Boxoffice .com. “Hopefully this will set a standard for even more transparency across the industry, but keeping track of the unique circumstances and times we live in is critical.”
In addition, “Black Widow” raised $ 78 million from international ticket sales.
“The brand equity that Marvel brings to the table is almost unrivaled and is reflected in the historic box office that the films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe have generated,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore. “So it should come as no surprise that ‘Black Widow’ grabbed the biggest debut and propelled the biggest weekend of the pandemic overall.”
For the first time since March 2020, the entire domestic box office has raised more than $ 100 million in ticket sales, according to Comscore. Currently that total is $ 116.9 million.
At the beginning of the weekend, box office analysts predicted that Black Widow could raise at least $ 80 million. Heavy pre-sale sales lead some to believe that even if the film debuted on Disney + for $ 30 that same day, it could see even greater reach.
Previously, Disney was silent about how offering its streaming service on the same day affected a film’s theatrical release. The $ 60 million it raised on Disney + shows that this may be a viable option for the brand in the future. Disney’s next Marvel film “Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings” will only be shown in theaters.
“Whether or not Disney + revenue should be considered successful is almost impossible to measure objectively right now,” said Robbins. “This is not only because of virtually non-existent benchmarks, but also because of the long-term implications for the deterioration in downstream side income and heightened piracy concerns that are at the fore for current and future hybrid releases like this.”
It’s unclear whether Disney will continue to share this streaming data weekly or only on rare occasions to announce strong debuts on the opening weekend.
“If Disney sticks to the most exclusive plans for some or all of its major films after this summer, we will have more clarity on what those numbers mean,” he added. “However, if the studio continues to watch one movie at a time in a global market that is still battling the pandemic, we need to continue to contextualize these numbers as unique each time.”
Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC. NBCUniversal distributed “F9”.