Will the Delta Variant Derail Box Office After ‘Black Widow’?

The highest-grossing countries for the latest Marvel film all face new infection surges thanks to a more virulent strain of COVID-19

“Black Widow” may have crossed $200 million at the worldwide box office on Thursday, but questions are mounting about whether the COVID-19 Delta variant will threaten renewed momentum at the movies at the worst possible moment for the exhibition industry.

The Delta variant, which is more infectious than the original strain of COVID-19, has become the most common version of the virus in the U.S. and is a major factor in rising infection rates in 47 states. In Los Angeles County on Thursday, officials reinstituted a mask mandate in public indoor spaces as daily new case rate rose above 1,000 for the first time since March. Delta variant hot spots have risen in Nevada, Florida and Missouri, with new cases arising especially in the unvaccinated population.

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Jeremy Fuster

Box Office Reporter • jeremy.fuster@thewrap.com • Twitter: @jeremyfuster