FRIDAY AM UPDATE: No, streaming hasn’t killed theatrical just yet, and those exhibitors who’ve gone hungry over the last year and half, received lots of bread last night. Disney/Marvel’s Black Widow kicked off its previews at 5PM earning a huge $13.2M, easily the best preview night to date during the pandemic besting Universal’s F9 ($7.1M) and Paramount’s A Quiet Place Part II ($4.8M).
With a Rotten Tomatoes score of 81% Certified Fresh, industry estimates have Black Widow between an $80M-$90M 3-day start.
Black Widow opened in a further 30 material markets, including Germany, Russia, Australia, Japan, Korea, Brazil and Mexico, taking its full total to 41 material markets to date, with the first two days racking up an estimated $22.4M to date. Nancy will have a further overseas update.
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Black Widow‘s Thursday night stateside is ahead of such Marvel movies as 2018’s Ant-Man and the Wasp ($11.5M), 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy ($11.2M) as well as Warner Bros/DC’s Wonder Woman in 2017 ($11M). Ant-Man and the Wasp‘s Thursday night represented 34% of its $33.7M opening day which yielded a $75.8M opening while Guardians of the Galaxy’s Thursday repped a third of its $37.8M Friday for a $94.3M opening. Wonder Woman wound up getting a lift over its opening weekend from its female fanbase who were hungering for the DC superhero’s big screen debut. We’ll see if there’s a similar turnout by females over the weekend for Black Widow. Wonder Woman‘s Thursday made up 29% of its $38.2M Friday, for a $103.2M opening weekend.
Among MCU previews, Avengers: Endgame owns the all-time record for all movies at $60M off showtimes which began at 6PM. That turned into a record opening day in April 2019 of $157.4M, and best ever Hollywood pic domestic debut of $357.1M.
The Scarlett Johansson standalone Marvel Cinematic Universe title also became available on Disney Premier at midnight for $29.99. Any box office success brings questions this weekend: How much more could Black Widow make? And how does this kill its ancillaries or slow its legs down the road? Also, with the whole Disney+ Premier element, it’s a moving target to determine how frontloaded Black Widow is; clearly the die-hards showed up last night. Rather than go see the movie a second time in the theater, do the fans go home and simply buy it on Disney+? Or did a quadrant of MCU fans stay home instead and buy Black Widow? The last standalone MCU movie was Captain Marvel in March 2019 and she posted a Thursday night of $20.7M. Hmmm.
Universal’s F9 led all titles in regular release last night earning $2.2M (-23% from Wednesday) at 4,203 theaters for a two week total of $130.4M. Uni, of course, had spots No. 2 and 3 on Thursday respectively with Boss Baby: Family Business ($1.94M, -3%) and The Forever Purge ($1.43M, -13%). The week’s total for Boss Baby 2 at 3,644 is $26M and Forever Purge is $20.7M at 3,051 theaters.