Two years on from Spider-Man: Far From Home, Marvel fans finally had a new release to look forward to on the big screen this week with the arrival of Black Widow, and despite the option to catch it at home thanks to a simultaneous Premier Access release on Disney+, the Scarlett Johansson-led blockbuster has enjoyed a very impressive start at the box office.
Domestically, Black Widow grossed $80 million to surpass the $70 million “pandemic era” record set by F9 in June and deliver the biggest opening weekend at the North American box office since Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in December 2019.
An additional $78 million was generated at the international box office, giving Black Widow a worldwide opening weekend of $158 million. However, Disney is also reporting that the film pulled in an extra $60 million from its streaming release; unlike theatrical receipts which are shared with exhibitors, this goes straight into Disney’s pocket, and so is essentially worth $120 million to the studio in terms of “box office”.
“Once again, Marvel has delivered an exceptional film to the delight of fans worldwide with Black Widow achieving numerous milestones in the current marketplace,” said Kareem Daniel, Chairman, Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution. “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+.”
“It’s incredible to see audiences enjoying Black Widow after two years without a new Marvel Studios film, and this spectacular opening weekend shows just how eager fans have been to see this beloved Avenger in her own story. There’s no question it’s been worth the wait – Cate Shortland, Scarlett Johansson, and the Marvel Studios team have delivered an exceptional film that continues a legacy of creative excellence as the Marvel Cinematic Universe expands and enters a new era,” said Alan Bergman, Chairman, and Disney Studios Content.
While Disney has Jungle Cruise set for a hybrid theatrical/streaming release, studio CEO Bob Chapek has previously ruled out the possibility of Marvel Studios’ next movie Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings following suit. However, with Black Widow proving the model works (for Marvel movies, at least), it remains to be seen whether those plans will alter.
In Marvel Studios’ action-packed spy thriller “Black Widow,” Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises. Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, Natasha must deal with her history as a spy and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger.
Black Widow is directed by Cate Shortland (Lore) and sees Scarlett Johansson reprising her role as Natasha Romanoff alongside William Hurt as Thaddeus Ross, Florence Pugh (Fighting With My Family) as Yelena Belova, O-T Fagbenle (The Handmaid’s Tale) as Mason, David Harbour (Stranger Things) as Alexei Shostakov/Red Guardian, Rachel Weisz (The Favourite) as Melina Vostokoff and Ray Winstone (Sexy Beast) as Dreykov.