While Marvel fans may not like the idea of waiting longer for Black Widow, it appears to have been a good business decision. Disney recently firmed up its release strategy for the Marvel Cinematic Universe entry, which will now arrive both in theaters and on Disney+ in July, as opposed to May. By waiting a couple of extra months, the studio stands to make a lot more money at the box office.
According to a new report, Black Widow, which brings Scarlett Johannson back to the MCU, is now expected to make $170 million domestically during its run in theaters. For the sake of contrast, its projection was set at just $45 million when the May 7 release date was in place. This is especially incredible considering that Disney+ subscribers will have the option to pay an extra $29.99 to watch the movie from the comfort of home through the Premier Access program. Jeff Bock, Senior Box Office Analyst at Exhibitor Relations, had this to say.
"It's very difficult to gauge the success of one film in terms of the entire industry going forward, especially in this transitionary period. That being said, [Godzilla vs. Kong]'s domestic debut gave both theatrical and streaming a much-needed boost, and its box office performance over the weeks to come will be tracked closely... As far as Marvel goes and other films that have pushed further back into summer, that can only help their cause at this point, as the science of things points to the film industry getting more resilient across the board. That's excellent news for blockbusters, considering budgets usually balloon upwards of $200M these days."
Godzilla vs. Kong has earned over $300 million at the worldwide box office in just a couple of weeks. It notched the biggest U.S. box office debut since the pandemic began, despite also being available on HBO Max. Case in point, audiences are finally ready to get back to the movies. Health and safety concerns are slowly receding thanks to vaccine distribution. That is good news for Hollywood.
Many blockbusters have been delayed that were originally slated to arrive in 2020. Ghostbusters: Afterlife, No Time to Die, Venom 2, Morbius, F9 and more have pushed into 2021, awaiting hopefully green pastures. The only concern as the summer approaches is possible release date crowding. Movies like Godzilla vs. Kong are also benefiting currently from a lack of direct competition.
Cate Shortland directed Natasha Romanoff's solo MCU entry. It takes place between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. The cast also includes David Harbour, Florence Pugh, O-T Fagbenle and Rachel Weisz, with Taskmaster set as the main villain. It was originally set to arrive in May 2020 as the first release in Phase 4 of the MCU. Instead, WandaVision kicked things off over on Disney+ earlier this year, with The Falcon and the Winter Soldier in the middle of its first season currently. Black Widow arrives on July 9. This news was previously reported by Observer.