Just over a week after helping bring the box office back to life, Black Widow has started its rapid descent, potentially quicker than what most theaters insiders even anticipated. After last weekend's pandemic record-setting $80 million opening haul, Black Widow dropped 67.5-percent in its second week, another Marvel record in and of itself. Over the course of its second weekend in theaters, Black Widow collected just $26 million at the domestic office.
The drop was so severe, the National Association of Theatre Owners opted to release a statement blaming Disney's decision to release Black Widow both in theaters and on Disney+ Premier Access at the same time.
“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,” NATO said in the press release (via Variety).
“It ignores that Premiere Access revenue is not new-found money, but was pulled forward from a more traditional PVOD window, which is no longer an option,” the statement added.”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."
The film ended up hitting theaters over a year after it was expected to debut. Even though Scarlett Johansson herself has said the movie's probably her last as Natasha Romanoff, that fact alone couldn't give the feature enough legs to top the box office a second-straight week — Warner Brothers' Space Jam: A New Legacy settled atop the charts this weekend.
"Honestly, I feel like it's always, it feels great to leave a party when it's still raging and I think that this film feels very much like it's alive and fresh and powerful and I feel really pleased with it. I feel really happy with the work that we've done for this decade of time," Johansson shared with ComicBook.com about leaving the MCU behind. "You know, it's bittersweet to say 'goodbye,' but if you love something, you need to set it free!"
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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