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Marvel’s ‘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 past weekend. Scarlett Johansson returned as Natasha Romanoff, also known as Black Widow, a former SHIELD agent and member of the Avengers. Despite Black Widow being a more subtle character compared to her super-powered peers, her compelling story and thrilling action sequences once again proved to be a hit for Marvel and Disney.

Black Widow had a dual release in theaters and on Disney+’s Premier Access subscription service. The film earned approximately $80 million at the domestic box office, an extra $60 million from Disney+, and an additional $78 million from international theater ticket sales. Even focusing solely on the domestic box office numbers, Black Widow has emerged as the highest-grossing movie since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, surpassing the previous record holder, F9, by $10 million.

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

Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore, stated, “The immense brand value of the Marvel franchise is truly unparalleled, evident in the historic box office figures generated by the Marvel Cinematic Universe films. Thus, it’s no surprise that Black Widow achieved the highest debut and powered the most profitable weekend throughout the pandemic.”

While the success of Black Widow is a significant achievement for Marvel and Disney, it raises the question of whether Disney will continue releasing movies simultaneously in theaters and on Disney+ or revert to an exclusive theatrical model. The numbers suggest that this approach could serve as a viable interim solution until the world fully recovers from the pandemic. Nevertheless, Disney has confirmed that their next MCU installment, Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings, will be exclusively in theaters. The performance of that film could determine Disney’s future strategies.

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