We still have a couple of weeks before Black Widow finally hits theaters but, if the tracking numbers hold, it is going to have a very solid debut at the box office. Scarlett Johansson's long-awaited solo entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe was originally supposed to arrive in May of last year. 2020 had other plans. But as the industry has started coming back to life, Disney and Marvel Studios are gearing up to release their first movie on the big screen in nearly two years. And it may well be the hit the industry needs right now.
The most recent box office numbers have Black Widow pulling in as much as $90 million on its opening weekend. On the low end, it's looking at $65 million. While that wouldn't exactly be a disaster under the circumstances, it would be far from ideal. $90 million, however, would have been considered quite good even before last year changed the industry forever. Not to mention that the movie will be available through Disney+ Premier Access as well, which means that subscribers will have the option to watch it from the comfort of home for an additional $30. To what degree that will affect its box office potential is difficult to say.
If it somehow overperforms and beats current expectations, we could be looking at the first $100 million opening weekend in quite some time. There's also the matter of how it performs in movie theaters overseas, which is make-or-break for a blockbuster such as this. But, at this stage in the game, things are looking good.
Prior to its initial release date delay, just as the pandemic was starting to rock Hollywood to its core, the movie had been tracking for a debut between $90 and $130 million. So, under the current circumstances, if Black Widow can hit that $90 million figure while it's also available on Disney+ in the U.S., that would be pretty impressive. And a good sign for Disney. Though it might not necessarily be the greatest sign for those who want to see these movies debuting exclusively in theaters. Particularly those involved in the exhibition side of the business.
Assuming Disney can still rake in $90 million, or more, at the domestic box office with an MCU movie while it's also available on Disney+, the studio would likely see little downside in implementing similar strategies for its future blockbusters. However, it has already been confirmed that Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, as well as Eternals, will have exclusive theatrical debuts. Though they won't have a nearly three-month-long window like movies used to. These exclusive runs will be shortened, paving the way for them to arrive sooner on Disney+ and through premium VOD.
Cate Shortland (Lore) is in the director's chair for the latest MCU adventure. Aside from Scarlett Johansson, the cast includes David Harbour (Stranger Things), Florence Pugh (Midsommar), O-T Fagbenle (The Handmaids Tale), Ray Winstone (Sexy Beast), Olivier Richters (Ravers) and Rachel Weisz (The Favourite). Black Widow arrives in theaters and on Disney+ Premier Access on July 9. This news comes to us via Box Office Pro.