Theaters Not Happy About 'Black Widow' Box Office Decline, Blame Disney+

The second weekend of Walt Disney’s big action/fantasy film “Black Widow” has seen a sharp box-office decline -- and the National Association of Theatre Owners isn’t happy. It blames Disney’s simultaneous streaming-theater release of the movie.

Comscore says “Black Widow” dropped 67% in its second weekend to $26.3 million. It took in $80 million in its initial weekend for the July 9-11 period.

Disney says the movie also took in $60 million in opening weekend streaming revenues.

NATO says streaming dollars for “Black Widow” essentially took revenue away from theater owners -- that the initial $80 million haul for theaters under-delivered.

“Based on comparable Marvel titles, and other successful pandemic-era titles like “F9” and “A Quiet Place Part 2” opening-day-to-weekend ratios, “Black Widow” should have opened to anywhere from $92 million to $100 million,” said a NATO press release on Sunday.



“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.”

Disney+ Premier Access allows consumers to stream the movie at home for a $30 pay-per-view showing.

Premier Access is a related service to Disney+, the $7.99 monthly premium on-demand video streaming platform.

Initial press reports said both streaming and theater owners benefited from “Black Widow.” The simultaneous streaming-theater opening of movies has been a controversial approach for many studios that have experimented with it over the past year. Theater owner executives have expressed great concern about it.

NATO added that piracy was also an issue with the “Black Widow,” although it offered no details.

“Piracy no doubt further affected “Black Widow”’s performance, and will affect its future performance in international markets where it has yet to open."

For the entire two-week period so far, Comscore says “Black Widow” has pulled in an estimated $132 million in U.S. box-office revenues and $264 million in global theater box-office revenues.

1 comment about "Theaters Not Happy About 'Black Widow' Box Office Decline, Blame Disney+".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, July 19, 2021 at 10:53 a.m.

    No need to offer details about piracy. It's fairly easy to record a streaming feed and upload to digital vaults or Torrents. Less easy to get a watchable copy inside a theater. 

Next story loading loading..