The box office has been going almost empty in this pandemic as a result of closed theaters and movies either going to streaming services or being held back. Even though the pandemic has let up a little, but situations are still not 100% back to normal. But theater owners had hope from Black Widow.
They were looking at it as an indicator of recovery of the box office after theaters closed down in the pandemic. The owners believed that the next installment in the MCU will make big money. So when the time came, Disney released Black Widow with a lot of fanfare both on theaters and on Disney+.
And those theater owners are in luck because the Scarlett Johansson starrer has raked in big bucks.
On Friday, Black Widow debuted to #1 on the box office with a total global gross of $215 million. Out of this, $80 million were amassed from the domestic box office, $78 million from the international box office, and $60 million+ from Disney+ global sales.
Black Widow is the first MCU movie to get released since the pandemic shut down theaters. It follows Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff as she faces off against enemies from her past. The movie also marks the beginning of MCU’s Phase 4 theatrical side.
Since the pandemic, Disney has put several movies intended for theatrical release on its streaming platform. For example, Hamilton, Luca, Soul, etc., all premiered online to Disney+ subscribers. The platform uses a Premier Access feature to launch those films that are also getting released in theaters. This is done to help maximize the box office potential. So this means that Black Widow is the highest-grossing movie since the Covid-19 pandemic began last year in June 2020.
Also, here’s the full statement from Kareem Daniel, Chairman of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution, below:
“Once again, Marvel has delivered an exceptional film to the delight of fans worldwide with Black Widow achieving numerous milestones in the current marketplace. 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+.”
The box office success of Black Widow wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t also simultaneously releasing on Disney+ as well. After all, each rental costs about $30 or $29.99 to be exact. It should also be noted that this is not the first movie that was released simultaneously on Disney+ and theaters.
In fact, Black Widow is the third Disney movie to get this dual opening after Mulan and Raya and the Last Dragon. But this huge gross from the Disney+ platform has proved one point. It has shown critics that there’s still a sizeable number of people who don’t feel safe venturing out to theaters.
The film’s success has been the result of Natasha’s fans flocking to the theaters as well as the streaming service. After all, they have wanted a Black Widow movie since the first Avengers movie was released. However, we also have to mention the fact that being part of a juggernaut like the MCU has helped the movie reach unprecedented heights, which will of course be enjoyed by the other movies in the MCU pipeline as well.
Up next on the slate is another Disney+ Marvel series that connects to Black Widow courtesy of its end credits scene- Hawkeye. So it remains to be seen just how much success the MCU gets with its Phase 4. But for now, it has been smooth sailing for them.
You can catch Black Widow in theaters or Disney+ via Premiere Access