The “Black Widow”, many scenes of which were shot in Hungary, has just walked into cinemas and is already critically acclaimed and breaking records.
The superhero stand-alone hopes to further the moviegoing recovery and snare the biggest launch of the pandemic era even as it debuts simultaneously on Disney+ Premier Access.
Finally, after a near 15 month wait, Marvel’s long-awaited “Black Widow” will debut around the world after being locked down from the pandemic, and the industry’s global weekend expectation is as high as $140M.
To date, Universal’s “F9” boasts the biggest domestic launch of the pandemic era with $70 million (last weekend, it zoomed past $500 million globally).
The major difference between the two films in terms of their release strategy: “F9” received a theatrical exclusive window, while “Black Widow” is opening day-and-date on Disney+ Premier Access for an additional $30, making predictions difficult.
That’s likewise true overseas, where “Black Widow” is opening day-and-date in most major markets, excluding areas still impacted by COVID-19 closures, including Taiwan, India, parts of Australia, and some countries in Southeast Asia and Latin America (In North America, a swath of cinemas in Canada, including Toronto, are still shuttered).
Currently, China, the biggest Marvel market in the world, has not yet dated “Black Widow”. Further, much of South East Asia is closed or not fully operational. That includes Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Philippines which are largely shuttered as well as Indonesia and Thailand which have about 40% of cinemas open.
The region is mad for Marvel and so the current state of things is expected to hamper sky-high opening grosses. There’s reason to believe, however, that if reviews and social sentiments are good, “Black Widow” will see strongholds ahead. The movie already has great critical acclaim stateside with 83% Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.
Disney and Marvel are hoping for a global box office launch north of $120 million, while other analysts predict more than $140 million. Watching “Black Widow” on Disney+ Premier Access is also an option in numerous international markets where the streamer is available.
In the U.S. and Canada, the superhero pic will unfurl in more than 4,100 theaters on Friday following Thursday evening previews.
Directed by Cate Shortland, the big-budget tentpole stars Scarlett Johansson in the titular role. The action-thriller follows Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow as she revisits her past. Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz, and David Harbour also included.
“Black Widow” is among numerous 2020 tentpoles that were delayed because of the COVID-19 crisis and wide-scale theater closures. It’s been more than two years since a Marvel/Disney superhero movie (“Avengers: Endgame”) graced the big screen. “Endgame”, which was released in late April 2019, was followed in July of that year by Sony/Marvel’s “Spider-Man: Far From Home”.
It’s hardly a surprise that “Black Widow” is the top title of the year so far in terms of advance ticket sales on Fandango. The ticket service, however, said Wednesday that the film is also beating pre-pandemic Marvel titles “Spider-Man: Homecoming” (2017) and “Doctor Strange” (2016), which debuted domestically to $117 million and $85 million, respectively.
Whatever the final proceeds are, we Hungarians will be happy, because, besides the fact that Rachel Weisz, actress of Hungarian descent will be in it, many of the scenes were shot in Hungary.