It wins the pandemic box office award.
Even with an option to watch “Black Widow” at home, audiences went to the movie theater in pandemic record numbers this weekend to catch the first Marvel movie released in two years.
The Walt Disney Co. said Sunday the superhero pic generated an estimated $80 million in ticket sales in North America. Combined with $78 million from international theaters and at least $60 million in Disney+ Premier Access rentals, “Black Widow” grossed over $215 million in its first weekend. The studio said it’s the largest domestic opening weekend since “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” debuted in 2019, pre-pandemic.
It’s a massive win for coronavirus-era moviegoing. In North America, the previous pandemic recordholder was Universal’s “F9,” which debuted to $70 million a few weeks ago. But unlike “Black Widow,” which is playing on 4,100 screens, the ninth “Fast & Furious” movie was exclusively in theaters.
“This was a pretty monumental weekend for the industry,” said Paul Dergarabedian, Comscore’s senior media analyst. “‘Black Widow’ played well on big screens and small screens. And it actually strengthens the case for movie theaters.”
Dergarabedian noted that the vast majority of profits, $158.8 million, came from theaters. Around $12 million of that came from IMAX screens too.
“Hollywood blockbusters continue to gain ground at the box office with each successive release, and that bodes very well for the many films lined up for exclusive worldwide theatrical release this fall and beyond,” said Rich Gelfond the CEO of IMAX.