The latest installment in the “Fast & Furious” franchise – which blew up box office expectations this weekend – raises the bar for other summer tents, including Marvel’s “Black Widow” (DIS) .

“F9” topped theaters, garnering $ 70 million in US ticket sales – the biggest opening in the pandemic era to date. The action movie Vin Diesel stole the title from “A Quiet Place II,” which grossed $ 57 million in ticket sales when it opened on Memorial Day weekend last month.

“This is absolutely another positive step forward for the film industry,” Shawn Robbins, chief analyst for Box Office Pro, told Yahoo Finance.

“This is the kind of openness we would have almost expected from this film before the pandemic,” he added. The performance “sets the scene” and “raises the bar” for future debut films like “Black Widow,” an “Avengers” spin-off which hits theaters on July 9.

“Marvel has always been the only franchise throughout this revival that many expected to bring back moviegoers en masse,” Robbins said, citing similarities between the superhero movie, “F9” and “A Quiet Place. II “.

(Courtesy: Marvel Studios)

(Courtesy: Marvel Studios)

The biggest difference, however, is the “Black Widow” hybrid release strategy.

The film will simultaneously be available on Disney + for a $ 30 premium VOD rental – a notable risk to future box office potential and an “evolving Wild West vibe in terms of what that will look like in the long run.” , the analyst is noted.

Still, Robbins said that “the sheer power of Marvel’s fanbase, which has both a hard-core segment and a very laid-back movie-goer segment, will really attract a lot of people. [to the theater], especially the opening weekend. ”

The 2-year period between now and Marvel’s latest blockbuster has created “pent-up demand,” Robbins said, adding that “Widow” has the “potential to surpass [‘F9’]”in terms of domestic ticket sales.

AMC sees traffic resumption as blockages ease

(Source: Placer.ai)

(Source: Placer.ai)

One of the biggest exhibitors in the industry, AMC (AMC) recently added to the theatrical optimism. On Monday, he revealed that chains across the United States had had their busiest weekend since closing theaters in March 2020 – with 2 million guests visiting AMC venues across the country.

AMC has been a hot topic of conversation amid the stock trading frenzy, with many analysts questioning the company’s fundamentals – yet the stock has climbed more than 2,500% since the start of the year .

However, separate data backs up AMC’s recovery history. According to the foot traffic analysis platform Placer.ai, monthly visits to AMC theaters across the United States have shown steady improvement.

Visits were down 68.5% in May from May 2019 – a slight increase from April when the visit gap was 70% and a significant increase from January, when visits were still down over 80%.

Box office analysts predict that ticket sales will continue to improve as more films hit the market.

According to a recent Bloomberg Intelligence memo, movies like “Dune,” “Top Gun: Maverick,” “No Time to Die,” “Venom 2,” and “Eternals” – coupled with loosening capacity limits and restrictions amid COVID – Deployment of vaccine 19 – will help generate $ 5 billion in gross ticket sales in 2021.

“Visibility remains limited, but box office estimates have continued to increase,” the report notes.

Yet despite rising consumer confidence, other analysts remain cautiously optimistic, with about 20% of theaters still closed in the United States, according to Comscore.

“There won’t be an ‘F9’ every weekend yet,” warned Robbins of Box Office Pro. “It is still a market which is recovering.”

Alexandra is a producer and entertainment correspondent at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @ alliecanal8193

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