After being delayed for more than a year, Black Widow is finally set to be released next month. Disney and Marvel Studios are set to release the much-anticipated blockbuster both in theaters and on Disney+ through the Premier Access program. That involves subscribers paying an additional $30 to watch the movie on the same day it hits theaters. But now, it has been revealed when subscribers will be able to stream the movie at no additional cost.
Disney+ updated its website recently as advance tickets for Black Widow went on sale. At the same time, pre-orders for the movie on Disney+ went live. On the webpage, it is explained that the movie will be available to stream at no additional charge to subscribers on October 6. So, those who are not in a hurry to see Scarlett Johansson's solo debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe may be able to save a bit of money by waiting a few months. Though it is unlikely hardcore fans who have already been waiting a long time for this one will be content to wait it out.
This hybrid strategy is something that Disney has been experimenting with as the pandemic has begun to recede. While the box office is recovering, the studio is hoping to hedge its bets. Movies like Mulan, Raya and the Last Dragon and Cruella have all debuted in theaters as well as on Disney+ Premier Access on the same day. Hard numbers have not been revealed but it seems to be going well. Cruella already has a sequel in development, indicating that quite a few people paid the extra $30 to watch Emma Stone as the iconic Disney villain at home. To what degree this works to the benefit of Black Widow remains to be seen.
The MCU, since its inception in 2008, has grossed more than $22 billion at the global box office. Avengers: Endgame, up until very recently, was the highest-grossing movie in history. Given the character's long-standing popularity, Black Widow seemed like a near-lock to earn $1 billion or more before 2020 came in and upended the movie business. While the most recent release date delay seemingly helped the movie's chances at the box office, it's still unclear if it being available on Disney+ as well will help or hurt the situation. But this is only temporary. It has already been confirmed that Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Eternals will debut exclusively in theaters first.
Starring alongside Scarlett Johansson will be David Harbour (Stranger Things), Florence Pugh (Midsommar), O-T Fagbenle (The Handmaid's Tale) and Rachel Weisz (The Favourite). Cate Shortland (Berlin Syndrome) directed the movie. While many plot details have been kept under wraps, it will be a prequel taking place between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. Taskmaster is also set as the main villain. Black Widow arrives on July 9. Those interested in watching it at home can pre-order the movie now through the Disney+ streaming app.