Black Widow Craters on Second Weekend

Black Widow Craters on Second Weekend

I told you this was coming. The second weekend take is in, and it is an utter disaster for Disney/Marvel.

From Deadline:

“If you want to know what the negative impact is by having a Marvel movie available in homes and in theaters at the same time, well, here it is: That’s the steepest second-weekend drop ever for a Disney-distributed MCU title, beating Ant-Man and the Wasp (-62%).”

It’s much worse than that. Black Widow’s take for this weekend is $26 million. 

The grand total is $132 million domestic and $100 million foreign. At $232 million worldwide this is drastically underperforming for a $200 million budgeted film. I see no indication that it’s going to bounce back in the the third week.

The theater owners are putting Disney on blast for having put Black Widow out on same day VOD.


“Despite assertions that this pandemic-era improvised release strategy was a success for Disney and the simultaneous release model, it demonstrates that an exclusive theatrical release means more revenue for all stakeholders in every cycle of the movie’s life,” emphasizes the NATO (National Association of Theater Owners) news drop.

Given the opening day to weekend ratios of other comparable Marvel movies, and other successful pandemic-era titles like F9 and A Quiet Place Part II, NATO says that Black Widow should have opened to between $92M-$100M. “Based on preview revenue, compared to the same titles, Black Widow could have opened to anywhere from $97M to $130M,” adds the release.

NATO goes further in specifying the lost amount of dollars for both Black Widow and exhibition: “The average number of people per household in the U.S. is 2.37. One can assume the family-oriented Disney+ household is larger. How much? How much password sharing is there among Disney+ subscribers? Combined with the lost theatrical revenue and forgone traditional PVOD revenue, the answer to these questions will show that simultaneous release costs Disney money in revenue per viewer over the life of the film.”

NATO also pointed to the Torrent Freak report that we cited how for the week ending July 12, Black Widow was the most pirated movie. We’ve heard from industry sources that Black Widow was pirated even more than Wonder Woman 1984.”

A theatrical exclusive would have meant more money for the theaters to be certain. But less money for Disney as a whole. Disney claims that their VOD take was $60 million. Any money made at the theater has to be split with the theater. That $60 million all belongs to Mickey the Great and Terrible. 

And it ain’t gonna be enough. 

Disney broke the code of silence on their VOD numbers last weekend but isn’t saying anything about streaming revenue this weekend. Because there probably wasn’t any. Anybody who was going to pay for VOD, has done so. Once anything hits the internet, it’s free and anybody who wants to stream Black Widow now is doing it on the High Seas.

“Selling” Black Widow to Disney Plus subscribers for $30 a license was a fundamentally bad idea in the first place. A rental for $20 would have generated a lot more revenue for the honest but not willing to pay thirty bucks potential home viewer. But Disney is way too greedy for that. 

Antman and Wasp grossed $622 million total.  Below expectations but still profitable.

Rolling the known Black Widow VOD take into last weekend’s reported take (and I’d shave at least $20 million off of that) you have a grand total of $282 million in gross revenue.  This movie is going to make less money than Solo: A Star Wars Story.

I’ll say it now, the winning streak is finally broken.  Black Widow will be Marvel’s first bomb.

Looks like Ike Perlmutter was right about superheroine movies all along.

Okay, I’m done here.

UPDATE: I should have expanded on this. The $30 same-day license is dumb for a number of reasons. It kills all forward momentum. It’s not just the theater revenue. Disney won’t be getting the Red Box rental money, it won’t get the Amazon rental money, and it sure as hell won’t get the Blu Ray/4K physical media revenue either. No one who buys a streaming license ever gets the physical media too. Why would you? This is a classic case of killing the Golden Goose.

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Comments (15)

  • Wazdaka Reply

    First week shenanigans look even more likely. The fact that they can only afford to boost it for a week suggests that the bank balance might be a bit thin.

    July 19, 2021 at 1:36 pm
  • EXALT Reply

    “This movie is going to make less money than Solo”
    That is one harsh prediction; if it comes true, and if Shang-Chi and Eternals underperform as we expect, what the hell are the consequences going to be? Solo bombing was enough to kill the Star Wars Anthology format and destroy the dream of releasing one SW movie each year – I honestly can’t conceive the aftermath of three MCU movies out of four bombing in a single year, especially since next year’s slate is nothing to write home about either: you have Ant-Man 3 (and his movies have earned just okay), Thor 4 (which has a Guardians cameo, but also has Female Dyke Thor and Black Dyke Valkyrie), Black Panther 2 (without Boseman and without an Avengers movie to carry it) and of course not-Captain Marvel 2 (starring Auntie Brie, Black CM, Muslim CM and again, no Avengers movie right after). Will they just erase all that and blame Corona-chan?

    July 19, 2021 at 4:38 pm
  • Blume Reply

    Ike its only right in the aftermath. If this had come out when it should have after civil war it would have been profitable. But with theaters down, her story over and nothing interesting introduced there is no reason to see this movie. I would have watched it then for black widow but now I don’t care about her and the only interesting newcharacter “red guardian” everybody says does nothing and gets shit on.

    July 19, 2021 at 5:08 pm
  • Skyler_the._Weird Reply

    I saw it Saturday at a matinee with eight other people in the theater. I’m betting the Imax crowd was just as thin. I did get free popcorn and drink for my birthday and with AMC rewards points the whole thing was free.

    July 19, 2021 at 5:35 pm
  • Chris Lopes Reply

    Why would you pay 30$ for a movie that you can watch for the subscription fee in a couple of months? It’s not like this is a setup to a must see story, and it’s not like we are all wondering what happened to the main character. So it can wait.

    July 19, 2021 at 6:23 pm
  • Albert Reply

    Doesn’t the production company demand all or almost all of the ticket revenue for the first few weeks? I keep hearing that theaters depend on selling overpriced candy and soda to make their money, anyway.

    July 19, 2021 at 6:54 pm
  • Robert W Reply

    Marvel without their charismatic marque actors* on screen stuffers. No RDJ, Evans, Hemsworth, Pratt, Cumberbatch, Rudd or Boseman so no casual fan pull.

    *Sure there are marque actresses but they don’t have the firepower. ScarJo and Larsen don’t appeal broadly anymore and they ain’t Jennifer Lawrence…even if this move dropped in 2019 I don’t see it taking monster money.

    July 19, 2021 at 8:22 pm
    • Chris Lopes Reply

      Trying to appeal to the woke crowd (all 3 of them) doesn’t help either. This is especially true with characters that aren’t really designed for wokeness. I’m sorry, but Black Widow is an intentionally sexy character. She has other attributes too, but being aesthetically pleasing is a big one.

      July 19, 2021 at 8:38 pm
  • jorgen b Reply

    Black Widows audience is libtard neckbeards and lesbos, who are in fear of the fake Delta Variant, so of course its gonna fail.

    July 19, 2021 at 9:26 pm
  • furor kek tonicus Reply

    That $60 million all belongs to Mickey the Great and Terrible.
    according to the article i read, not quite true. Disney has to pay the base streaming service ( Netflix, Hulu, whathaveU ) that Disney+ is being streamed on out of the $60 mill, something like 15%.
    not the 50/50 split of a movie that’s been out for a couple of weeks but is it really much better than the opening week no lube raping that Disney has been doing to the theaters?
    This is a classic case of killing the Golden Goose.
    classic case of a dumbass MBA burning dollars so he can squeeze pennies out of somebody, yeah.

    July 19, 2021 at 11:54 pm
  • Tlotsi Reply

    It’ll be funny when Black Widow is crushed by Free Guy.

    July 20, 2021 at 4:21 pm
  • Michael Maier Reply

    ” but Black Widow is an intentionally sexy character. She has other attributes too, but being aesthetically pleasing is a big one.”

    Yeah, Blonde Widow is seriously lacking in that regard. She looks pudgy and mannish, and lacks emotional depth on screen. Plus she isn’t going to have the chemistry with the others even if she joins the Avengers’ main team (Whatever THAT even is anymore….).

    No Cap, no Tony…. who the Hell is Marvel intending to build the Avengers around?

    July 20, 2021 at 5:21 pm
    • jorgen b Reply

      She’s blonde in it? Oi. Scarlette Johanson only looks ok with red or black hair. She looks like a space alien when blonde. I guess Jewesses can’t pull off blonde.

      July 21, 2021 at 1:56 am
      • Joe S.Walker Reply

        The blonde one is Florence Pugh, who plays her younger sister, and who compared to Johansson is little and chunky.

        I only lasted about 20 minutes of Black Widow, mainly because it began with the Child Flashback Scene, which is always a turnoff for me (viz WW84). There’s a book to be written about brat-worship in Hollywood and its influence on American culture.

        Also… if the Russian super-soldier department thought it was useful to sterilise their female creations, mightn’t they think of making the male ones monstrously well-endowed and subject to rushes of erotic excitement at the moment of victory? Considering the Red Army’s behaviour in 1945 Germany…

        July 21, 2021 at 8:18 am
  • Rob Reply

    So what they’re saying is, the only reason anyone saw this movie at all was piracy

    July 21, 2021 at 2:25 pm

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