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‘Black Widow’ gets biggest US opening since pandemic

By Eleanor Escalante Published Jul 12, 2021 4:04 pm

The Walt Disney Company has announced that Marvel Studios’ Black Widow has gained over $215 million during its first weekend. 

The spy thriller film about the Avengers’ Natasha Romanoff debuted $80 million sales—the largest box office opening in North America since the pandemic started—and about $78 million in the international box office.

Boosting its sales, Black Widow debuted simultaneously on streaming service Disney Plus as part of its Premier Access offering where it collected another $60 million. 

Black Widow’s strong performance this weekend affirms our flexible distribution strategy of making franchise films available in theaters for a true cinematic experience,” chairperson of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution Kareem Daniel said. 

“As COVID concerns continue globally, providing choice to consumers who prefer to watch at home on Disney Plus,” he added. Subscribers may rent the film for an extra charge of $29.99.

In late June, Universal’s F9: The Fast Saga gained $70 million for its theatrical release, the previous highest-grossing film in North America. 

The standalone film tells the past of Natasha (Scarlett Johansson) as a spy and how she fights the force that wants to bring her down before she became an Avenger as Black Widow. The film also stars Florence Pugh (Yelena), David Harbour (Alexei/The Red Guardian), and Rachel Weisz (Melina).

Black Widow is the first Marvel Studios film in two years, placing third for the highest opening weekend in North America for a Marvel Cinematic Universe origin story following Black Panther and Captain Marvel. It is also the largest opening weekend in North America since Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker was released in December 2019. 

(Images from Disney and Marvel Entertainment)