According to The Hollywood Reporter, NATO attributed “Black Widow’s staggering collapse in its second theatrical revenue weekend” to Disney’s day-and-date release strategy, which meant the MCU Phase 4 was available at home and on the big screen on the same day, July 9. Ultimately, NATO said the move was undermining Black Widow’s box office performance.
“Despite claims that this hasty pandemic-era release strategy has been a success for Disney and the concurrent release model, it demonstrates that an exclusive theatrical release means more revenue for all stakeholders at every cycle of the film’s life, ”NATO said in a statement provided in a press release last weekend.
As the first MCU Phase 4 film, Black Widow is the latest version of Marvel to make its theatrical debut. It had the biggest US box office opening since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it has earned more than $ 215 million globally. The film also opened for over $ 60 million on Disney + with Premier Access, which helped push its $ 200 million worldwide.
However, the following weekend, Black Widow fell to second at the box office, raising a total of $ 26.3 million in the United States for the weekend of July 16-18. The film’s box office total suffered a 67% drop, which THR noted as “one of the biggest drops ever for a Marvel title and the worst among any Marvel Cinematic Universe movies released by Disney.”
Black Widow failed to secure a second weekend at number one after being run over by LeBron James, Bugs Bunny, and the Tune Squad in Space Jam: A New Legacy, which is also available on HBO Max. The 1997 Space Jam sequel grossed $ 31.7 million at the U.S. box office, with an additional $ 23 million overseas for a worldwide total of $ 54.7 million.
“The many questions raised by Disney’s limited opening weekend publication of streaming data are quickly answered thanks to the disappointing and anomalous performance of Black Widow,” NATO said. “The most important answer is that simultaneous release is an artifact of the pandemic era that should be left to history along with the pandemic itself. “
NATO also looked at how much revenue would be lost to piracy, saying “Black Widow was the most torrented movie of the week ending July 12” because “blank digital copies became available within minutes of their release. on Disney + ”. They pointed out that this was another factor that undoubtedly affected Black Widow’s box office performance.
Kevin Feige recently reiterated his commitment to the theatrical experience, saying Marvel makes films especially for crowded theaters, with every decision made from “the point of view of sitting in a crowded theater.” According to THR, Disney has indicated that it will revert to a traditional theatrical release model when the pandemic subsides.
Beyond Black Widow, there’s still a whole roster of Phase 4 movies to come. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will be next to debut in September, with Eternals in November and Spider-Man: No Way Home in December. After that, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will premiere, serving as the first Marvel movie of 2022.
Adele Ankers is a freelance writer for IGN. Follow her on Twitter.