Disney has announced that Black Widow made over $60M via Disney+ Premier Access during its opening weekend. The film is the first movie from Marvel Studios to be released since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, serving as an origin story for Scarlett Johansson’s character and the beginning of the theatrical side of Phase 4. It is also the first feature film entry in the MCU to open simultaneously in theaters and on the Disney+ streaming platform.
Black Widow opened in theaters globally on Friday and has been looked to as an indicator for the recovery of the box office following the closure of theaters during the pandemic. Since the launch of the Disney+ streaming platform, several movies intended for theatrical releases, such as Hamilton, Soul, and Luca, have premiered directly online for subscribers. The platform has also trialed a Premier Access scheme for films launching simultaneously in theaters to maximize box-office potential.
Once again, Marvel has delivered an exceptional film to the delight of fans worldwide with Black Widow achieving numerous milestones in the current marketplace. 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+.
The box office milestones which Black Widow has surpassed have undoubtedly been aided by the simultaneous release on Disney+, with each rental costing $29.99. It is the third film to open this way, following the live-action adaptation of Mulan and the latest animated classic, Raya and the Last Dragon. The announcement of Black Widow’s success on the streaming platform has disproved those skeptical of the appeal of paying a premium for streaming new releases, suggesting there are still audiences who feel safer watching the latest blockbusters at home rather than in a cinema.
The film’s success on Disney+ has likely been influenced by the continuation of the MCU on the platform in recent months, with the release of the original series WandaVision, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, and Loki. The end credit scene of Black Widow also serves as a teaser for the upcoming Hawkeye series due for release on the platform in the fall. It seems Marvel fans are enjoying being able to follow the franchise in a single space, and it will likely influence Disney’s plans for future releases.
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