Marvel Studios and Disney delaying the release of Black Widow in theaters has apparently increased the film's potential profits by an exponential degree. In the latest forecasts for how Hollywood will bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic, new reports from box office analysts are stating that by shifting Black Widow from May 7th to July 9th, the film's domestic projection has increased from $45 million to $170 million, with a new projected opening weekend of $63 million. That may be lower than the standard $100M+ opening weekends that Marvel Studios is used to, but it's a good sign for the movie industry.
"As far as Marvel goes and other films that have pushed further back into summer, that can only help their cause at this point, as the science of things points to the film industry getting more resilient across the board,” claims Exhibitor Relations Senior Analyst Jeff Bock told Observer. “That’s excellent news for blockbusters, considering budgets usually balloon upwards of $200M these days."
The movie industry was shattered by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, with theaters having to shut doors in March, and having to largely remain closed throughout the year. That upheaval, combined with the obvious new challenges in actually carrying out film/TV productions, has kept studios having to pull up stakes and shift release dates an unprecedented amount of times. Fast 9 has been shifted six times; James Bond No Time to Die has been moved five times; and Black Widow has been shifted three times. At this point, movie fans, theater chains, and studios are all hoping and praying that the current forecast for the US market to be mostly back to normal business by mid-summer is the final, firm, holding line. So far things look promising: Godzilla vs. Kong has been a true monster at the box office, earning more than $300 million worldwide in two weeks.
The multiple delays for Black Widow have sparked a lot of debate about whether the film still has suitable buzz behind it. Marvel Studios put those fears firmly to rest with the recent release of a new Black Widow trailer; it wracked up 70 million views in 24 hours of release. There's clearly plenty of momentum behind Black Widow at this point, which is proving to be a double-edged sword. Disney made the choice to release Black Widow in both theaters and on Disney+ Premium Access at the same time, which has angered some movie theater chains that were looking at Marvel and Black Widow as being the biggest hope for the box office to bounce back.
Black Widow will be in theaters on July 9th. You can also watch it at home on Disney+ Premium Access on that same date, for a rental fee of $29.99.