Los Angeles Times
Marvel’s “Black Widow,” the highly anticipated solo outing for veteran Avenger Natasha Romanoff, opened in first place this weekend with $80 million in U.S. and Canadian ticket sales.
The result is the largest North American box office opening since the pandemic began more than a year ago.
The film, which premiered simultaneously in theaters and on Disney+ premier access, earned upward of $215 million globally with more than $60 million of those revenues coming from Disney+ alone.
The simultaneous streaming release — available for about $30 — represents one of the biggest tests yet of consumers’ willingness to visit a theater for a movie they could be watching at home.
Directed by Cate Shortland, “Black Widow” was well received, with an A- CinemaScore and an 80% “fresh” rating on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes.
“It’s incredible to see audiences enjoying ‘Black Widow’ after two years without a new Marvel Studios film,” Disney Studios Chairman Alan Bergman said in a statement. “This spectacular opening weekend shows just how eager fans have been to see this beloved Avenger in her own story.”
“Black Widow” is the only film to cross the $100 million mark in its opening weekend since the start of the pandemic.
The release date for the movie was delayed more than a year because of the pandemic, which kept indoor theaters closed for most of the last 12 months.
The strong debut is a sign of a recovery in the cinema business, although ticket sales remain well below pre-pandemic levels as theaters have stepped up efforts to lure movie patrons back.
The combined theatrical and Disney+ premier access opening puts the film squarely between “Black Panther” ($202 million) and “Captain Marvel” ($153.4 million) in terms of biggest domestic opening weekend for a Marvel origin story and marks the largest domestic opening since “Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker” opened in theaters in December 2019 to $177.4 million.
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