Opening weekend estimates for Marvel Studios’ “Black Widow” took a hit after Saturday grosses were lower than expected, but the Scarlett Johansson spy/superhero film still has the largest post-pandemic launch to date at $80 million from 4,160 screens.
Just as notable is Disney’s announcement that the Marvel film earned over $60 million worldwide from its Premier Access program, which made “Black Widow” available at home for Disney+ subscribers for $30. This is the first time Disney has released any PVOD numbers since “Mulan” moved from theaters to Premier Access last summer, with the studio retaining all revenue from those PVOD sales as opposed to splitting it with theaters.
Combined with the $80 million domestic launch and a $78 million overseas total, Disney reported that “Black Widow” has earned a $218 million global launch. The studio did not provide details on how much of the film’s PVOD revenue came from Disney+ subscribers in North America.
Industry estimates had projected an opening in the $87-88 million range after the film grossed $39.5 million on Friday. But Saturday grosses fell 41% from the previous day to $22 million, a sharper second-day drop than the 30% seen by “Spider-Man: Far From Home” during its mid-week Fourth of July release two years ago.
Despite this, “Black Widow” is still posting a new post-pandemic high just two weeks after “F9” opened to $70 million. The Marvel film, combined with solid holdovers, has also pushed weekend numbers close to the levels seen in this same time frame back in 2019. Industry estimates currently have overall box office totals sitting at $117 million, compared to $126 million for the weekend of July 12, 2019.
As usual for the MCU, audience reception for “Black Widow” was strong with an A- on CinemaScore, 4.5/5 on Postrak and a 92% Rotten Tomatoes audience score. The film is expected to stay No. 1 through July as next weekend’s big release, “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” will be available at no extra charge on HBO Max, making a $200 million domestic run very possible.
“F9,” meanwhile, became the first Hollywood film since December 2019 to reach $500 million worldwide this past week, and now has a global total of $541.8 million. That includes a domestic third weekend total of $10.8 million and an overall domestic total of $141 million.
Universal/DreamWorks’ “The Boss Baby: Family Business” is in third with $8.7 million in its second weekend, posting a 10-day total of $34.7 million. Another Universal film, Blumhouse’s “The Forever Purge,” is in fourth with $6.7 million and a 10-day total of $27.4 million.
Completing the top five is Paramount’s “A Quiet Place — Part II,” which hit a big milestone by becoming the first post-pandemic film to reach $150 million in North America with $3 million grossed in its seventh weekend.