Disney announced record numbers for the Black Widow opening weekend, which isn’t surprising. Black Widow is Marvel’s first film to hit theaters in more than two years. It was supposed to open the MCU Phase 4 in early May 2020, but the coronavirus pandemic corrupted Marvel’s plans. After several delays, Black Widow is playing in theaters worldwide, but also online. The highly anticipated film is Marvel’s first big blockbuster to launch online on the same day as the theatrical premiere. It turns out Black Widow’s Premier Access sales played a considerable role in Marvel’s big opening weekend, as Disney revealed exactly how much it made from online ticket sales.
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Disney announced on Sunday that Black Widow topped the box office on opening weekend, becoming the largest domestic box office opening since the pandemic began. The numbers can’t reflect what Black Widow would have achieved before the health crisis struck, but they show the MCU’s massive appeal.
How many people bought Black Widow tickets on Premiere Access?
Disney said Black Widow made more than $215 million during the weekend, including $80 million from the domestic box office, $78 million in international sales, and more than $60 million in Disney+ Premier Access spent globally.
You can watch Black Widow online right now on Premier Access for $29.99. That one-time fee is on top of the Disney+ subscription, as the two services are separate. The online ticket price gives you unlimited access to the film online at the best possible quality. The price makes sense for anyone who isn’t comfortable heading back to theaters in their region. It’s about what they’d spend on a movie night out for two people, depending on markets. It’s even cheaper than that for families and groups of friends who would have watched it together.
At over $60 million in Premier Access sales, more than two million people purchased Black Widow online this weekend. That seems like a massive success, but we have nothing to compare it to.
Will other MCU films launch on Disney+?
Disney disclosing the Premier Access take for Black Widow is a rare revelation. Studios usually do not provide figures about films launched online, and we had quite a few of those during the pandemic. But Disney needs the actual statistics to make a point about Black Widow. It’s the biggest film that launched during the pandemic:
Black Widow is the largest domestic box office opening since the COVID-19 pandemic began and the largest domestic opening weekend since Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker in December 2019.
The combined theatrical and Disney+ Premier Access opening makes Black Widow the only film to surpass $100M in domestic consumer spend on opening weekend since the start of the pandemic.
It is the highest domestic opening weekend for a Marvel Cinematic Universe origin story after Black Panther and Captain Marvel.
Having movies premiere online and in theaters on the same day means the films land on illegal streaming sites immediately. Also, Disney+ isn’t available worldwide, so Black Widow Premier Access’s reach is limited. Finally, those larger groups of people paying just $29.99 for instant access to the film would net studios some losses. It’s too early to tell whether Marvel will launch any other MCU title online after Black Widow. Several western countries are bracing for another wave of infection, with the Delta version leading the charge. But Marvel did not reveal Premier Access plans for other 2021 titles.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings launches in theaters exclusively on September 3rd, where it’ll play for 45 days. Variety reports Marvel did not reveal plans for Eternals, which launches on November 5th. Spider-Man: No Way Home will follow on December 17th.