Natasha Romanoff’s swan song was a huge win for Disney/Marvel Studios.
Marvel Studios has a lot to celebrate when it comes to its first theatrical release in the pandemic era, Black Widow, Scarlett Johannson’s long-awaited solo film. Following its release to rave reviews, the Avengers-less film brought in an estimated $80 million in its North America opening weekend, delivering on the movie industry’s expectations and setting a record for the film industry during the pandemic era.
Black Widow also proved another point, if people really want to see a movie and still have qualms about heading to a movie theater to do so, they have no problem paying for it to watch it at home. The film, which sees Johannson return as the super spy Natasha Romanoff whom we saw sacrifice herself for the greater good in 2019’s Avengers: Endgame, was also a huge hit on Disney+ bringing in an astounding $60 million globally via Disney’s Premier Access function, according to the studio.
For an additional $29.99 on top of the subscription price they are already paying for the service, you could watch Black Widow in the comfort of your home, and that resonated with Disney+’s subscribers. The service currently boasts over 100 million users. Overall the film brought in $215 million globally, according to Disney, and that number includes the $78 million the film made internationally.
“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+,” said Kareem Daniel, chairman of Disney’s media and entertainment distribution.
This is big news for the theater industry who was left reeling because of the pandemic and was worried about the idea of films premiering on streaming services. While many will point out the reason things worked out is that Black Widow is because it’s a Marvel Studios film, and that is fair, the film doing well both in theaters and streaming can be celebrated as another win.
Black Widow’s successful release follows other pandemic box office wins with A Quiet Place II and F9 faring well with moviegoers despite studios opting to keep pushing the movies back rather than have them stream exclusively on services like Amazon Prime Video and HULU.
This is a clear indication that the movie industry will have to make some adjustments because not everyone is flocking to movie theaters… yet.
Photo: CHRIS DELMAS / Getty