Black Widow smashes box office records and rakes in over $215 million

Black Widow smashes pandemic-era box office records and rakes in over $215M during its opening weekend

Black Widow smashed several box office records in its first weekend of release.

The long-awaited Marvel Cinematic Universe entry, which made its wide debut on Friday, set new pandemic-era benchmarks as it raked in over $215 million in total. 

The Scarlett Johansson-starring feature also enjoyed an enthusiastic response on the Disney+ streaming service, where it was also made available to viewers as a response to the ongoing state of the global pandemic. 

Serious earnings: Black Widow smashed several pandemic-era box office records and raked in a whopping $215 million in its first weekend of release

Black Widow took in a total of $80 million at the United States’ domestic box office, accounting for viewers who chose to watch the feature in theaters.

The movie also grossed a handsome $78 million in international markets, as well as $60 million on the Disney+ Premier Access service.

Prior to the Marvel Comics-based movie’s release, F9 held the top position for pandemic-era openings, as it grossed $70 million upon its release in June. 

Chairman of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution Kareem Daniel gave a statement via The Hollywood Reporter and expressed that the feature was proof that the dual-release method of movie premieres was a viable long-term option.

Holding it down: The long-awaited MCU entry took in a total of $80 million at the United States’ domestic box office

Successful start: The Scarlett Johansson-starring flick also took in $78 million in international markets and $60 million on the Disney+ Premier Access streaming service

He said: ‘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 … providing a choice to consumers who prefer to watch at home.’

The entertainment industry figure also pointed out that many of the MCU’s longtime fans came out in droves to see the new feature, which he was happy to see. 

‘It’s incredible to see audiences enjoying Black Widow after two years without a new Marvel Studios film, and this spectacular opening weekend shows just how eager fans have been to see this beloved Avenger in her own story,’ he remarked.

Daniel concluded by noting that the team behind the feature went above and beyond to produce a movie that would introduce more fans to the wider media franchise.

Getting the word out: Chairman of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution Kareem Daniel expressed that Black Widow’s dual release proved that a ‘flexible distribution strategy’ was viable going forward; its star is pictured in 2020

Specifically, he said that Black Widow’s producers ‘have delivered an exceptional film that continues a legacy of creative excellence as the Marvel Cinematic Universe expands and enters a new era.’ 

The feature was centered around the titular character as she confronts the demons of her past following the events of 2016’s Captain America: Civil War.

In addition to the film’s 36-year-old leading actress, the movie featured performers such as Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz and David Harbour, among numerous others, in its cast.

The project lingered in development for nearly two decades before work in earnest began in 2017, with its director Cate Shortland being hired the following year.

Long time coming: The project lingered in development for several years before director Cate Shortland was brought on in 2018; she is seen at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival

Physical production began in May of 2019 and continued throughout the year before reshoots were completed that October.

Black Widow was initially set to be released on May 1st, 2020, although its debut was later pushed back due to the onset of the global pandemic.

The feature was then given a rescheduled date of May 7th, 2021, which was also scrapped as the worldwide COVID-19 situation grew worse.

Much contention was raised on whether to give the film a dual release on Disney+, with many executives fearing that the movie would not be profitable if it was made available directly to streamers.

Cause for concern: Many of the executives at Marvel Studios were worried that a dual release strategy for Black Widow would reduce its chances of being profitable

In March of last year, Black Widow’s release date was finally moved to July 9th, and the decision was made to have the feature partially premiere on the streaming service.

The decision was partially made due to the fact that several MCU-related projects were set to make their debuts in the near future, and further rescheduling for the long-awaited film would have likely hampered the studio’s plans going forward.

The film was met with a widely positive critical reception, with many viewers pointing to the performances of Johansson and Pugh as strong points of the project.

Last month, Shortland expressed that she would be interested in working on another Black Widow feature, although she pointed out that its former leading actress would not be involved with the movie.

Finally here: The feature was released to the public earlier this month and many critics praised Johansson’s performance; she is pictured at the 2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards

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