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‘Black Widow’ Makes $80 Million in Opening Weekend

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The latest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Black Widow, hit theaters over the weekend. Scarlett Johansson returned to her role as Natasha Romanoff, also known as Black Widow, a former SHIELD agent and an Avenger. Despite Black Widow not having superpowers like some of her fellow Avengers, her intriguing storyline and action-packed stunts managed to attract audiences and generate significant revenue for Marvel and Disney.

Black Widow was simultaneously released in theaters and on Disney+’s Premier Access subscription platform. In the U.S., the movie raked in approximately $80 million at the box office, while it earned an additional $60 million on Disney+. International ticket sales contributed an extra $78 million. Even when considering only the U.S. box office earnings, Black Widow has emerged as the highest-grossing film since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, surpassing the previous record set by F9 by $10 million.

Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at Boxoffice.com, commented, “This method of reporting opening weekend earnings for a film is unprecedented, but Disney should be commended for providing a breakdown of revenue from both box office and streaming platforms. Hopefully, this sets a standard for increased transparency in the industry, considering the unique circumstances we are currently facing.”

Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore, stated, “Marvel’s brand strength is unparalleled and is reflected in the record-breaking box office figures generated by the Marvel Cinematic Universe films. Therefore, it’s no surprise that Black Widow achieved the biggest opening and powered the most profitable weekend during the pandemic.”

While this success is a significant win for Marvel and Disney, it poses a question: will Disney continue the practice of simultaneous theater and Disney+ releases, or will they revert to a theater-only model? The data suggests that this approach could be a viable interim solution until normalcy returns post-pandemic. However, Disney has confirmed that their next Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings, will be exclusively released in theaters. The performance of that film may shape Disney’s future strategies.

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