Black Widow is setting benchmarks all across the board. The Scarlett Johansson vehicle was initially praised for helping inject life back into the box office after a year and some change of flat numbers. Only a week went by, however, until the country's largest theatrical lobbying firm issued a fiery statement blaming Disney's dual theatrical and streaming release for what it claims was less-than-stellar numbers. Now, one new study suggest Black Widow has set yet another milestone — it's the most-pirated movie of the Pandemic Era.
According to a newly published chart by TorrentFreak, Black Widow overtook Amazon's The Tomorrow War as the most pirated film on the internet. It's now spent two weeks atop the chart, also besting The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard, and Netflix's Gunpowder Milkshake.
The National Association of Theater Owners released a statement Sunday afternoon blaming Black Widow's presence on Disney+ for its lower-than-average opening.
"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," the group said in a press release. NATO suggests it could have made upwards of $100 million over its opening weekend in theaters instead of the $60M domestic haul it took back to Burbank instead.
NATO added, "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. Piracy no doubt further affected Black Widow's performance and will affect its future performance in international markets where it has yet to open."
Black Widow is now in theaters and streaming on Disney+ Premier Access. If you haven't signed up for Disney+ yet, you can try it out here.
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