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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.

Go deeper

"Smash Bros" adds "Kingdom Hearts" hero Sora

Image: Nintendo

Nintendo’s mighty crossover game, “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate,” capped off three years of ambitious expansion with the announcement that “Kingdom Hearts” hero Sora will be added to the Switch fighting game’s roster on Oct. 18.

Why it matters: This wasn’t just the addition of a character that had secretly topped Nintendo’s official fan request poll six years ago. It was a stream watched by more than 500,000 people that demonstrated the convergence of some of the industry’s major trends.

Biden says he'll make Supreme Court pick by end of February

President Biden speaks on the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. Photo: Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden on Thursday said he will announce the nominee for Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer's replacement by the end of February.

Driving the news: Biden also affirmed that he will nominate a Black woman to replace Breyer, saying "it's long overdue."

Stephen Breyer formally announces retirement from Supreme Court

Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP

Justice Stephen Breyer on Thursday sent a letter to President Biden formally announcing his retirement from the Supreme Court.

State of play: Breyer said his retirement will take effect when the court "rises for the summer recess (typically late June or early July) assuming that by then my successor has been nominated and confirmed."

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