“Black Widow” has stolen the box office crown of the pandemic.
The latest Marvel film scored $80 million at the domestic box office during its debut, the most of any film released in the wake of the Covid epidemic. According to Comscore data, about 81% of theaters were open to the public on weekends.
Universal’s “F9” was the previous record holder after raking in $70 million during its three-day launch in theaters last month.
Walt Disney also revealed that it made more than $60 million worldwide from selling the film through Disney+ Premier Access. This is the first time the company has shared information about the movie sales earned from its streaming service.
“This is an unprecedented way to report opening weekend for a movie, but Disney deserves some credit for detailing what was generated by the actual box office and what was earned from streaming,” said Shawn Robbins, principal analyst at Boxoffice.com. “Hopefully this sets a standard for even greater transparency in the industry, but it’s crucial to keep an eye on the unique circumstances and times in which we live.”
In addition, “Black Widow” took in $78 million from international ticket sales.
“The brand equity that Marvel brings to the table is almost unparalleled and is reflected in the historic box office that the films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have generated,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore. “Therefore, it should come as no surprise that ‘Black Widow’ made the biggest debut and propelled the pandemic’s biggest overall weekend.”
For the first time since March 2020, the total domestic box office has amassed more than $100 million in ticket sales, according to data from Comscore. Right now, that number stands at $116.9 million.
Heading into the weekend, box office analysts predicted that “Black Widow” could capture at least $80 million. Strong advanced ticket sales lead some to believe it could rack up ever-increasing revenue even if the film debuts on Disney+ the same day for $30.
Previously, Disney has been silent about the influence of its same-day offering from its streaming service on the theatrical release of a film. The $60 million it has committed to Disney+ shows that this could be a viable option for the brand in the future. However, Disney’s next Marvel movie “Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings” will only hit theaters.
“Whether Disney+ revenue should be considered successful is nearly impossible to objectively measure at this point,” Robbins said. “That’s due not only to virtually non-existent points of comparison, but also to the long-term impact related to the deterioration of downstream-related revenues and exacerbated piracy concerns that remain at the top of the agenda for current and future hybrid releases like this one.” .”
It’s unclear whether Disney will continue to share this streaming data on a weekly basis or only provide it on rare occasions to tout strong debut weekends.
“If Disney sticks to theatrically exclusive plans for some or all of its major films after this summer, we’ll have more clarity on the meaning of these numbers,” he added. “As the studio continues to strategize one film at a time in a global market that is still battling the pandemic, we will have to continue to contextualize these numbers as unique every time.”
Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC. NBCUniversal distributed “F9.”