A day after The Walt Disney Co. announced that Marvel Studios’ Black Widow debuted at $ 218.8 million – including $ 60 million from Disney + Premier Access and $ 158.8 million at the global box office – the company’s shares jumped 4% on July 12 while theater stocks fell across the board.
Disney’s ability to boast a global opening of over $ 200 million, not counting just on the box office, has certainly appealed to investors, but Hollywood’s traditional studios and movie owners are not. excited to tout the success of streaming during tough times for the cinema.
So far, no mainstream studio has publicly shared audience figures for the multitude of their films debuting simultaneously at home due to COVID-19 (the only exception is that of Universal. Troll world tour).
the Black Widow revealing could mark a paradigm shift and inspire others to share audience data. (In this case, that equates to at least 2 million households.)
Sources say Disney is likely to announce Disney + Premier numbers for Jungle cruise, with Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt. The photo of the event goes to theaters on July 30 and, as Black Widow, simultaneously on Disney + Premier Access for an additional $ 30.
Conventional wisdom suggests that Disney will revert to a traditional theatrical release for its films this fall when the box office resumption is more advanced, while Warner Bros. said it would end its current practice of releasing day-to-day movies in theaters and HBO Max in 2022. An ad-free HBO Max option, at $ 15 per month, does not charge an additional fee for new films as part of a strategy to increase subscriber numbers competitively, but could disclose household numbers.
Wall Street analysts and movie financiers believe day-to-day releases cannibalize the box office and diminish other ancillary income. Imax CEO Richard Gelfond agrees. “When other studios analyzed the piracy rate and cannibalization resulting from the date and date release, they decided to move to a 45-day window,” Gelfond explains. “Unless that data is significantly different here, I guess Disney would come to a similar conclusion. “
Wall Street analyst Eric Wold of F. Riely Securities adds: “We are in a difficult environment right now. Children may not be vaccinated and then there is the Delta variant. Disney had to be flexible. He also notes that only 2 million households have paid to watch Black Widow on more than 100 million Disney + customers. “They haven’t shown that they have that much base at home,” he says.
Yet Disney retains all of the $ 60 million in premium video-on-demand revenue from the Black WidowThe beginnings of Disney +, unlike box office revenue, which is shared with theaters.
Black Widow, with Scarlett Johansson, was certainly no slouch at the box office and claims the biggest domestic debut of the pandemic era at $ 80 million. However, a lot of people following the standalone superhero pic believed it would make $ 90-100 million based on initial traffic, but those hopes were sidelined when the mast dropped 41%. from Friday to Saturday – unheard of for a Marvel photo. Most have fallen by 15 percent or less.
This could well be due to the possibility of being able to watch it at home, according to Screen Engine / ASI. The leading Hollywood research firm discovered that Black Widow The cannibalized box office earns more than other day and date deals, including Disney + Premier deals such as Cruel – among customers who would have waited to watch it in a cinema if it had not been immediately available in premium video on demand (43% against a standard of 40%).
At the same time, Black Widow helped attract new customers (39% signed up to see the movie, versus a standard of 16%), but many preferred to cancel their subscription after (62% versus a standard of 54%). The good news: The Marvel offer has helped stem the churn rate and retain customers who would otherwise have terminated their membership (36% versus a standard of 36%), according to Screen Engine.
Disney has indicated that the rules of the pandemic era dictate current decisions. “Black Widow’s strong performance this weekend confirms our flexible distribution strategy of making franchise films available in theaters for a true cinematic experience and, as COVID issues continue around the world, to offer a choice for consumers who prefer to watch at home on Disney +, ”Kareem Daniel, president of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution, said in a July 11 statement.
But BoxOffice Pro analyst Shawn Robbins warns, “As more and more people feel comfortable going back to the movies, how much money is left on the table by essentially cutting a new version for families. able to share a purchase throughout a household, without speaking with friends and extended family? “