Millions of Marvel fans are set to return to cinema for the first time since the start of “social distancing.”
The occasion is Marvel’s “Black Widow”, the most anticipated film of the summer. It’s making its global debut right now, “and the industry’s global expectations for the weekend are $ 140 million,” Deadline’s Anthony D’Alessandro and Nancy Tartaglione reported Wednesday.
Advance ticket sales set a record high in 2021, meaning “Black Widow” topped “F9,” which was June’s big milestone for the film industry. On Fandango, the film “also beats the pre-pandemic Marvel titles Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) and Doctor Strange (2016),” THR’s Pamela McClintock wrote. Of course, there is a ton of pent-up demand. “It’s been more than two years since a photo of Marvel / Disney superheroes (Avengers: Endgame) graced the big screen,” noted McClintock. “Endgame, released in late April 2019, was followed in July of that year by Sony / Marvel’s Spider-Man: Far From Home.” Whatever your measure, it’s been a long time, so this launch is a moment of cinematic magic …
In the US, “Black Widow” premieres Thursday at 5 p.m. ET. It will be available to stream, for a price of $ 30, through Disney + Premier Access on Friday. The streaming option makes forecasting and box office projections a bit more complicated than usual. But the Deadline team said “Black Widow” “could weave between $ 80 million and $ 90 million in 4,100 theaters” while “Disney is cautiously considering $ 75 million over 3 days in the United States.” Either way, that would be a pandemic era record, as “F9” grossed $ 70 million nationally in its first weekend.
So, by Saturday, Disney CEO Bob Chapek will likely receive a slap on the back from his media mogul brethren in Sun Valley …
Brian Lowry writes: “My full review will air Thursday on CNN Entertainment, but it should be noted that ‘Black Widow’ is positioned as a standalone entity, featuring the main character revisiting his former life between the events of ‘Captain America: Civil War’ and ‘Avengers’: Infinity War.’ Of course, Marvel being Marvel, the film still contains seeds that could be harvested elsewhere in its larger cinematic universe … “
>> Lowry adds: “Also, whatever the box office tally, it would be extremely helpful to have an idea of what the Disney + buy rate looks like – from data that releases to date. du jour don’t share. Without it, there’s no way of really knowing how profitable (or not) the movie might be as well as how much of the streaming option might cannibalize cinema revenue, as opposed to just add income from people who would not be inclined to rush and see anyway … “
Big box office image
As the pandemic recedes in the United States, box office returns have been fragile. There were some small group hits, namely “F9” and “A Quiet Place Part II”, but also big hiccups, like “In the Heights”.
People are going back to the movies, “but they’re doing it selectively,” WaPo’s Steven Zeitchik wrote last week. “And those who work in Hollywood are trying to figure out why.” Here are some of the theories. I hope Universal Distribution President Jim Orr is right: “There is a lot of reason to be optimistic – the light at the end of the tunnel is brightening every week …”
Three more readings
– Variety’s Kate Aurthur interviewed stars Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh about “their epic journey” in the new movie …
– THR’s Aaron Couch spoke to Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige about riding the past and the future…
– “How a Coen Brothers Classic Influenced Marvel’s Black Widow:” Director Cate Shortland spoke with CNET about “making a superhero feel human …”