Disney Was Right About Streaming New Movies

Hand it to Walt Disney. The streaming world has been clamoring for more data -- financial, user and otherwise -- when it comes to new highly touted films and TV series. And the big Mouse gang delivers.

In addition to the $80 million it grabbed from the first weekend of “Black Widow,”  it took in an eye-popping $60 million in streaming revenues under its Disney+ Premier Access pay-per view effort.

This puts other streaming and TV platforms on notice: They also need to provide easily digestible data for film movie directors, producers, talent and analysts. The big takeaway: Theatrical movies on streaming platforms can make nearly the same money -- at least for the initial weekend openings -- as in cinemas.

Is this just an ongoing, somewhat latent pandemic-era consumer-at-home thing? In part. It confirms how major TV-movie studios analyze the streaming world.



Again, this all may be a summer-time, big-blockbuster, action-fantasy movie thing. Additionally, the movie took in another $78 million in international box office in traditional cinemas.

The extra $30 streaming price tag for essentially a pay-per view of “Black Widow” might be just a way for Disney to protect its ongoing partnerships with cinemas -- as well as decent out-of-theater revenue. In other words, streaming pay per view turns out this to be a real business.

WarnerMedia, at the end of last year, made the bold decision to debut this year’s slate of theatrical movies in cinemas at the same time as itsstreaming platform, HBO Max. All for the same price. Great deal for consumers.

More recently, however, WarnerMedia started reversing course -- giving cinemas back their exclusivity for theatrical movies, though with shorter exclusive windows of around 45 days or so.

Perhaps WarnerMedia got wind of the fact Disney+ Premier Access was the real thing. Maybe there is more changing WarnerMedia streaming news to come.

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