‘Black Widow’ sets new pandemic box office record with strong opening weekend

Marvel's latest blockbuster has scored the biggest US debut in the COVID era

Marvel’s Black Widow has smashed US box office records in the pandemic era, earning $80million in cinemas and $60million on Disney+.

Starring Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh, Black Widow is the first film in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe to be released since the pandemic began in March last year. It was released in UK cinemas on July 7 and on Disney+ two days later, where subscribers can rent the film for an additional £19.99 ($30) on top of their subscription fee.

According to Variety, the film earned $80million in its first weekend in the US and $78million from 46 territories outside the US, bringing its global box office take to $158million.

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While Disney doesn’t usually release viewing figures for its streaming service, the company broke tradition to announce Black Widow took over $60million “in Disney Plus Premier Access consumer spend globally.” This brings the total to at least $218million worldwide across all platforms.

Black Widow
Florence Pugh and Scarlett Johansson in ‘Black Widow’ (Credit: Disney)

For context, Fast & Furious 9 earned $70 million in its opening weekend in the US, $10million less than Black Widow in the same timeframe.

It’s a big win for struggling cinemas, although Black Widow’s $218 million total is still a sharp decrease from Marvel’s last film Spider-Man: Far From Home, which earned $580 million worldwide in its opening weekend before the pandemic.

In NME’s four-star review, Black Widow is described as a “palate cleanser ahead of Marvel’s imminent Phase Four” which is a “hell of a lot of fun”.

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This is only the beginning of Marvel’s 2021 movie slate, with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings releasing in September and Eternals in November.

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