Disney and Marvel’s superhero adventure “Black Widow” captured $ 80 million in its first weekend, crushing the benchmark for the biggest opening weekend since the pandemic.
In a first for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the film opened simultaneously in theaters and on Disney Plus as part of the streaming service’s Premier Access offering, where subscribers can rent “Black Widow” for an additional $ 30. Disney reported that “Black Widow” has generated more than $ 60 million in “Disney Plus Premier Access consumer spending worldwide,” marking the rare occasion for a studio to disclose digital rental income. Abroad, “Black Widow” raised $ 78 million in its debut, bringing its worldwide box office to $ 158 million.
Disney did not share audience data for previously released “Cruella” with Emma Stone and the animation “Raya and the Last Dragon,” which also premiered in theaters and on Disney Plus simultaneously. It’s unclear if Disney will continue to report digital rentals for the upcoming “Jungle Cruise” action adventure, which opens in theaters and on Disney Plus on July 30.
On Sunday morning, Disney’s president of media distribution and entertainment, Kareem Daniel, touted the success of “Black Widow,” the first Marvel film to be released in two years.
“The strong performance of ‘Black Widow’ this weekend confirms our flexible distribution strategy of making franchise films available in theaters for a true cinematic experience and, as COVID concerns continue around the world, to provide choice for consumers who prefer to watch at home on Disney Plus. “
The performance of “Black Widow” is remarkable because it shows that the films can bring solid box office receipts despite being available on streaming services at the same time. However, David A. Gross, who runs movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research, notes that Marvel films are in a league of their own at the box office. Not all new versions would be able to reproduce these results. In total, the 24 films that populate the commercially unrivaled Marvel Cinematic Universe have grossed $ 22 billion in theaters since 2008.
“Certainly the number would be higher if every theater was open, if there were no issues with COVID, and if there was no streaming option,” Gross said. “For now, these obstacles make the opening of ‘Black Widow’ even more impressive.”
Universal’s “F9: The Fast Saga” came far behind at $ 10.8 million. Since releasing to the big screen three weeks ago, the action sequel starring Vin Diesel has grossed $ 141 million in North America. At the international box office, “F9” broke the $ 400 million mark, bringing its worldwide total to $ 541.8 million.
Universal also took third and fourth spots at the domestic box office with “Boss Baby: Family Business” ($ 8.7 million) and “The Forever Purge” ($ 6.7 million). The sequel to “The Boss Baby” and the latest episode of “The Purge” each opened in theaters on the July 4 bank holiday weekend and raised $ 34.7 million and $ 27.4 million, respectively.
Paramount’s “A Quiet Place Part II” took fifth place with $ 3 million, bringing its national total to $ 150 million, the biggest result to date for a film released during the pandemic.