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Credit: The Walt Disney Studios

'Black Widow' ensnares new pandemic record with $215M between theaters & Disney+

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Jul 11, 2021, 11:43 AM EDT

Natasha Romanoff's standalone adventure is a certified hit. According to Disney, Black Widow hit the ground running this weekend with a new COVID-era record of $215 million between theaters and Disney+ Premier Access. Directed by Cate Shortland, the latest MCU offering is the first Marvel tentpole to receive a hybrid rollout after it was delayed for more than a year by the global pandemic. 

With $80 million domestically, $78 million internationally, and $60 million via streaming purchases, Black Widow now has the biggest weekend opening since Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker debuted in December of 2019. Combined, the movie's North American totals make it the first major studio release to pass $100 million domestically since the start of the pandemic. It's also the biggest Stateside opening for an MCU origin story after Black Panther and Captain Marvel.

“Once again, Marvel has delivered an exceptional film to the delight of fans worldwide with Black Widow achieving numerous milestones in the current marketplace,” Kareem Daniel, Chairman, Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution, said in a statement. “Black Widow’s strong performance this weekend affirms our flexible distribution strategy of making franchise films available in theaters for a true cinematic experience and, as COVID concerns continue globally, providing choice to consumers who prefer to watch at home on Disney+."

“It’s incredible to see audiences enjoying Black Widow after two years without a new Marvel Studios film, and this spectacular opening weekend shows just how eager fans have been to see this beloved Avenger in her own story," added Alan Bergman, Chairman, Disney Studios Content. "There’s no question it’s been worth the wait — Cate Shortland, Scarlett Johansson, and the Marvel Studios team have delivered an exceptional film that continues a legacy of creative excellence as the Marvel Cinematic Universe expands and enters a new era."

Credit: The Walt Disney Studios

Set between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, the film takes a deep dive into Natasha's mysterious past as a deadly assassin for the Red Room (a clandestine Soviet program that turned young women into mindless killers). After learning that the program's nefarious leader, General Dreykov (Ray Winstone) is still alive, Natasha sets out to take Dreykov down with the help of her estranged family members: Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), Alexei Shostakov/Red Guardian (David Harbour), and  Melina Vostokoff (Rachel Weisz).

"It was indeed striking and welcome that Disney reported both the theatrical box office numbers and the Disney+ Premier Access global consumer spend for Black Widow," Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore, tells SYFY WIRE.  "The takeaway is that for a blockbuster Marvel movie, audiences exercised their freedom of choice and both platforms succeeded, but the movie theater experience was the clear choice for Marvel fans with $158.8 million banked this weekend. Great news for the industry overall this weekend."

Credit: The Walt Disney Studios

Now in its third frame, Universal's F9 took second place at the North American box office this weekend with an additional $10.88 million. The ninth chapter in the 20-year-old Fast Saga now has $141 million in its domestic gas tank. Thanks to another $24 million in sales abroad, F9 boosted its international haul to $400 million. As of Sunday, the film has made a little over $541 million worldwide.

Universal also nabbed the third and fourth North American slots with The Boss Baby Family Business (now at $34.7 million) and The Forever Purge (now at $27 million), respectively. Their global cumes stand at $37.2 million and $34 million, respectively. 

A Quiet Place Part II rounded out the Top 5 with another $3 million that brings its domestic tally to $150 million. Now in its seventh outing, the horror sequel is now closing in on $300 million globally. For comparison, the first A Quiet Place ended its global box office run with just over $350 million.

Other genre holdovers include: Disney's Cruella ($80 million domestically), Sony's Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway ($37 million and $138 worldwide), Warner Bros.' The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It ($63 million domestically and $183.5 million worldwide), Warner Bros.' Godzilla vs. Kong ($453.7 million worldwide), Pixar's Luca ($21 million worldwide).

(Universal Pictures, DreamWorks Animation & SYFY WIRE are all owned by NBCUniversal)