Jul 12, 2021 - Economy

"Black Widow" brings in $60 million+ from streaming on opening weekend

Photo: Disney

Disney's latest Marvel blockbuster, "Black Widow," not only set a new pandemic-era box office record this past weekend, it also proved that same-day streaming and theater movie releases will undoubtedly live on past the pandemic.

Why it matters: Black Widow's success proves that with the right movie, streaming releases can bring in a lot of money for big movie studios.

  • The movie was available globally to Disney+ subscribers for $30, Disney's "premier access" fee.

By the numbers: The film brought in $80 million from domestic box office ticket sales, easily topping Universal’s July 4 weekend hit "F9: The Fast Saga," the previous pandemic-era record-holder.

  • It made an additional $78 million from international box office ticket sales and over $60 million from streaming sales, bringing its opening weekend total to $218 million — a number closer to pre-pandemic weekend movie release totals.

Be smart: Few studios — including Disney — currently provide streaming figures for movies that are released at home the same day as theaters, presumably because they haven't been remarkable enough to warrant visibility.

  • But Disney executives were clearly proud of the streaming numbers from Black Widow, the first major Marvel movie from Disney this year.

The big picture: The pandemic-era streaming boom has forced movie studios to experiment with shorter theatrical windows and making their movies available sooner on their own streaming services.

  • Universal said last week that beginning next year, all of its film content will become available to fans exclusively on Peacock, the streaming service owned by its parent company Comcast, within four months of debuting in theaters.

Bottom line: "[W]e are looking at a 'new; normal that Hollywood is going to have to get comfortable with as theatrical and streaming converge ... Sorry theaters…," tweeted LightShed Partners' Rich Greenfield.

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