For the first Marvel movie in over two years, the release of Black Widow was pretty muted. It’s only like yesterday that we were watching other Disney Properties congratulate Disney Marvel property to make a lot of money. “Good job making money, me,” the messages implied.
After all a lot of talk about why Black Widow was not the box office manna of the pandemic, IMAX CEO Rich Gelfond blamed Disney’s output model. Instead of releasing Black Widow in theaters and letting it play for a few weeks, Disney dumped the film in theaters and on Disney + simultaneously. While they were hoping for boffo BO, they got a whole bunch of hacking and less revenue than expected (although $ 300 million still seems like a nice consolation prize.).
By deadline, Gelfond told listeners on the company’s second quarter earnings call today that Disney, basically, blew it up by experimenting (and by ‘blew it up’ we mean, « only made $ 316 million in less than a month “). “Every studio saw the same data that Disney saw,” Gelfond said. “What Disney did was experiment during the pandemic, that’s what they said they were going to do. “
“There’s really no doubt in my mind that the combination of PVOD and a lot of hacking – people haven’t really talked about it – it’s clear that there’s a lot of hacking that explains cannibalization, and that has dramatically affected the box office at the end of the day. “
Now, maybe if Ray Winstone played a cannibal in Black Widow the numbers could be a little higher. But as it is, Black Widow probably won’t make more money than F9: The quick saga. To be fair, F9 a John Cena using a very long zip line.
“It’s hard to quantify, but some statistics that I find interesting are that F9, which is the most traditional distribution model, will bring in around $ 700 million in the world at the end of its race, and Black Widow will make half of it, ”said Gelfond. ” Black Widow was a great movie, so when I think about it, there was no doubt that there was a lot of money left on the table.
In a sentence we consumers love to hear, continued Gelfond, « They used to sell the same property five times, and now they sell it once. Being a consumer is one of the great joys in life, isn’t it?
You will have them next time at Disney. Maybe James Cameron can post a picture of Jake Sully from Avatar put their arm around Iron Man or something to cheer you up, and we can pretend that we are all going to live forever.