ENTERTAINMENT

‘Black Widow’ Soars To Pandemic Box Office Record

Jul 11, 2021, 3:57 PM
In Marvel Studios’ action-packed spy thriller “Black Widow,” Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow...
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. (Disney+)
(Disney+)

(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.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Entertainment

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 12: Taylor Hawkins of honorees Foo Fighters performs onstage during ...
Chloe Melas, CNN

Foo Fighters set to honor Taylor Hawkins in second tribute show

The late Foo Fighters' drummer Taylor Hawkins will be honored in an all-star tribute concert in Los Angeles on Tuesday night.
1 day ago
The Try Guys -- Zach Kornfeld, Eugene Lee Yang, Ned Fulmer and Keith Habersberger -- in 2017. The g...
Sandra Gonzalez, CNN

The Try Guys announce Ned Fulmer is no longer part of the group

The group, which gained popularity at Buzzfeed for their viral videos and eventually departed to begin producing content through their own company, announced on Tuesday that founding member Ned Fulmer "is no longer working with The Try Guys."
1 day ago
MIAMI, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 02: Shakira performs onstage during the Pepsi Super Bowl LIV Halftime Sho...
Ana Victoria Cucalon and Marysabel Huston-Crespo

Shakira ordered to stand trial in Spain for alleged tax fraud

Grammy-winning singer Shakira is one step closer to facing trial in Spain for alleged tax fraud against the Public Treasury of Spain, according to a resolution published Tuesday.
1 day ago
Cast members of NBC's comedy series "Friends." Pictured: David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Jennifer A...
KSL TV

Rolling Stone releases list of 100 greatest TV shows of all-time

A panel of actors, showrunners and critics helped compile the list, which was published Monday.
1 day ago
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 11: Rihanna poses for a picture as she celebrates her beauty bra...
JAKE COYLE, AP Film Writer

Rihanna to headline the next Super Bowl halftime show

Rihanna is set to star in February’s Super Bowl halftime show.
3 days ago
John Cena has completed a new accomplishment: breaking the world record for most wishes granted thr...
Zoe Sottile, CNN

John Cena breaks Make-A-Wish record after granting 650 wishes

Actor, wrestling legend, and perpetual meme subject John Cena has completed a new accomplishment: breaking the world record for most wishes granted through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
‘Black Widow’ Soars To Pandemic Box Office Record