‘Black Widow’ soars to pandemic box office record

Sunday, July 11, 2021 | Lindsey Bahr, AP Film Writer


This image released by Marvel Studios shows Scarlett Johansson in a scene from "Black Widow." (Jay Maidment/Marvel Studios-Disney via AP)

Even with an option to watch “Black Widow” at home, audiences went to the movie theater in pandemic record numbers this weekend to catch the first Marvel movie released in two years.

The Walt Disney Co. said Sunday the superhero pic generated an estimated $80 million in ticket sales in North America. Combined with $78 million from international theaters and at least $60 million in Disney+ Premier Access rentals, “Black Widow” grossed over $215 million in its first weekend. The studio said it’s the largest domestic opening weekend since “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” debuted in 2019, pre-pandemic.

It’s a massive win for coronavirus-era moviegoing. In North America, the previous pandemic recordholder was Universal’s “F9,” which debuted to $70 million a few weeks ago. But unlike “Black Widow,” which is playing on 4,100 screens, the ninth “Fast & Furious” movie was exclusively in theaters.

“This was a pretty monumental weekend for the industry,” said Paul Dergarabedian, Comscore's senior media analyst. “'Black Widow' played well on big screens and small screens. And it actually strengthens the case for movie theaters."

Dergarabedian noted that the vast majority of profits, $158.8 million, came from theaters. Around $12 million of that came from IMAX screens too.

“Hollywood blockbusters continue to gain ground at the box office with each successive release, and that bodes very well for the many films lined up for exclusive worldwide theatrical release this fall and beyond,” said Rich Gelfond the CEO of IMAX.

“Black Widow,” starring Scarlett Johansson, has had a long journey to theaters. Originally slated to come out in May of 2020, the blockbuster was delayed because of the pandemic. Disney ultimately decided to release it “day and date,” meaning it came out on more than one platform at the same time. “Black Widow," in theaters and for a $30 rental on its subscription streaming service Disney+. Although not unprecedented for pandemic movie releases, or even for Disney, which did the same for “Cruella,” it’s the first Marvel movie to attempt the hybrid strategy. And it’s by far the biggest earner to date.

It is unusual for studios to release grosses from streaming profits in real time. Many never do so, and some release figures weeks after the fact.

“'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, the chairman of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution, in a statement.

The film was liked by audiences, who gave it an A-minus CinemaScore, and critics. “Black Widow” currently boasts an 80% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Men made up some 58% of the opening weekend crowd.

“F9” came in second place with an estimated $10.8 million, bringing its domestic total to $140.8 million in its third weekend out in North America. Globally, it’s grossed $541.8 million. Universal also held the third and fourth place spots with the animated sequel “The Boss Baby: Family Business,” which added $8.7 million, and the horror “The Forever Purge,” with $6.7 million. “A Quiet Place Part II” rounded out the top five with $3 million.

Currently, 81% of North American theaters are open, and most are operating at full capacity. Overall the films this weekend grossed a total of $117 million. It's the first time since the beginning of the pandemic that a moviegoing weekend has surpassed $100 million.

And while it's promising for the industry as a whole, Marvel films have always been in a box office category of their own. Overall, they've grossed nearly $23 billion.

“Marvel films are a unique monster,” Dergarabedian said. “I don’t know that you’ll see this for every release."

___

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

1. “Black Widow,” $80 million.

2. “F9,” $10.9 million.

3. “The Boss Baby: Family Business,” $8.7 million.

4. “The Forever Purge,” $6.7 million.

5. “A Quiet Place Part II,” $3 million.

6. “Cruella,” $2.2 million.

7. “The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard,” $1.6 million.

8. “Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway,” $1.3 million.

9. “In the Heights,” $630,000.

10. “Zola,” $620,000.

___

Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr

Should you invest $1,000 in The Walt Disney right now?

Before you consider The Walt Disney, you'll want to hear this.

MarketBeat keeps track of Wall Street's top-rated and best performing research analysts and the stocks they recommend to their clients on a daily basis. MarketBeat has identified the five stocks that top analysts are quietly whispering to their clients to buy now before the broader market catches on... and The Walt Disney wasn't on the list.

While The Walt Disney currently has a "Buy" rating among analysts, top-rated analysts believe these five stocks are better buys.

View The 5 Stocks Here

 


Companies Mentioned in This Article

CompanyMarketRank™Current PricePrice ChangeDividend YieldP/E RatioConsensus RatingConsensus Price Target
The Walt Disney (DIS)2.5$172.58-0.2%N/A-69.03Buy$205.38
Compare These Stocks  Add These Stocks to My Watchlist 

MarketBeat - Stock Market News and Research Tools logo

MarketBeat empowers individual investors to make better trading decisions by providing real-time financial data and objective market analysis. Whether you’re looking for analyst ratings, corporate buybacks, dividends, earnings, economic reports, financials, insider trades, IPOs, SEC filings or stock splits, MarketBeat has the objective information you need to analyze any stock. Learn more about MarketBeat.

MarketBeat is accredited by the Better Business Bureau

© American Consumer News, LLC dba MarketBeat® 2010-2021. All rights reserved.
326 E 8th St #105, Sioux Falls, SD 57103 | U.S. Based Support Team at [email protected] | (844) 978-6257
MarketBeat does not provide personalized financial advice and does not issue recommendations or offers to buy stock or sell any security.

Our Accessibility Statement | Terms of Service | Do Not Sell My Information

© 2021 Market data provided is at least 10-minutes delayed and hosted by Barchart Solutions. Information is provided 'as-is' and solely for informational purposes, not for trading purposes or advice, and is delayed. To see all exchange delays and terms of use please see disclaimer. Fundamental company data provided by Zacks Investment Research.