Marvel’s “Black Widow,” the highly anticipated solo release from veteran Avenger Natasha Romanoff, opened in No. 1 this weekend with $ 80 million in ticket sales in the United States and Canada.
The result is the largest opening of North American counters since the pandemic began more than a year ago.
The strong start is a sign of an upturn in movie business, although ticket sales remain well below pre-pandemic levels as theaters have stepped up efforts to attract movie theater customers.
The film, which premiered in theaters and on Disney + Premier Access simultaneously, grossed over $ 215 million worldwide, with over $ 60 million coming from Disney + alone. “Black Widow” has raised $ 78 million in 46 international markets.
The simultaneous streaming release – available for $ 30 – represents one of the biggest tests yet of consumers’ willingness to visit a theater for a movie they could watch at home.
Theaters traditionally fear that so-called “day and date” releases will weaken box office sales, but the health crisis has forced Disney and other studios to experiment with new hybrid distribution strategies.
Disney’s disclosure is unusual as studios typically don’t report premium video-on-demand figures for movie openings.
“Black Widow’s strong performance this weekend confirms our flexible distribution strategy of making franchise films available in theaters for a true cinematic experience and, as COVID issues continue around the world, to offer a choice for consumers who prefer to watch at home on Disney +, ”Kareem Daniel, president of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution, said in a statement.
Directed by Cate Shortland, “Black Widow” was well received, with an A-minus CinemaScore and an 80% “fresh” rating on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes.
“It’s amazing to see audiences enjoying ‘Black Widow’ after two years without a new Marvel Studios movie,” Disney Studios President Alan Bergman said in a statement. “This spectacular opening weekend shows just how eager fans were to see this beloved Avenger in her own story.”
“Black Widow” is the only film to cross the $ 100 million mark on its opening weekend since the start of the pandemic.
Universal’s “F9,” which opened at $ 70 million a few weeks ago, was the previous highest grossing film in North America during the pandemic. Unlike “Black Widow,” which airs on 4,100 screens, the ninth film “Fast & Furious” was exclusively in theaters.
Like other big movies, the release date for “Black Widow” has been delayed by more than a year due to the pandemic, which has kept theaters closed for most of the past 12 months.
The combined opening of the cinema and the first Disney + access places the film squarely between “Black Panther” ($ 202 million) and “Captain Marvel” ($ 153.4 million) in terms of the biggest weekend. nationwide opening for a Marvel Origin Story and marks the biggest nationwide opening since “Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker” opened in theaters in December 2019 for $ 177.4 million.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.