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411 Box Office Report: Black Widow Sets New Pandemic Record With $80 Million Start

July 11, 2021 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Black Widow Marvel

Marvel returned to the box office with a record-setting plash, as Black Widow dominated in its opening weekend. The MCU film opened with $80 million, laying claim to #1 without a sweat and coming in right about where most were predicting it. It’s a great start for the film, especially when you consider that Disney actually announced how much the film made via Disney+ rentals at $60 million. The studio did not break down that amount per country, but it’s fair to assume that at least half of it came from the US and Canada which would translate into a $110 million take, an opening that would put it right around the range of of mid-tier MCU openings even with the pandemic factored in.

Many eyes were looking at Black Widow for a lot of reasons this weekend. Not only is it the latest potential signifier of the box office’s recovery continuing, it’s the first film of Phase Four of the MCU and the second MCU film (following Spider-Man: Far From Home) after Avengers Endgame. In both capacity, the signs are very encouraging. Even without the slightly fuzzy math of adding in the Disney+ take, Widow’s $80 million take is a new pandemic-era record as it eclipsed the $70 million take of F9 from a couple of weeks ago. That $80 million is also well within the range of films like Far From Home ($92.6 million start) and Phase Three film Ant-Man & The Wasp ($75.8 million).

Just about everything is good news here, with the only even slight chink in the armor being that the film dropped off a greater-than-some-expected 41% from its $39.5 million Friday to a $23.3 million Saturday. But that could also be very Disney+ related, as most fans who were going to see it in theaters probably did so on Friday night and Saturday was considered a good time to sit at home and watch it with the family. Either way, this is a great start and shows that even most of the concerns about Widow — that it was a prequel, that it was opening in the pandemic, the Disney+ factor, and MCU fatigue — were unfounded in terms of driving interest. It helps that the film had pretty great reviews on the whole (an 83% aggregate on Rotten Tomatoes) and good audience scores with an A- CinemaScore driving positive word of mouth. In terms of international grosses it’s off to a good start with $78.8 million for a theatrical worldwide opening weekend of $158.8 million (and $218.8 million when you add Disney+ in), and that’s without China where it has yet to open.

Like with most films right now, it’s hard to guess where this movie is going to end up based off the first weekend due to all the X-factors in play. Domestically, it seems likely to hit at least $220 million and perhaps higher should it prove to have more traditional MCU legs as more and more theaters open up. It should also be noted that films which have debuted day-and-date on Disney+ have been showing incredible theatrical legs on the whole between Raya & The Last Dragon (a 6.42 multiple) and Cruella (a 3.76 and counting), so it could do very well by the end of its theatrical run. No matter what, it’s another MCU hit even with a spendy $200 million budget.

F9: The Fast Saga took an expected dip to #2 in its third weekend, as it dipped a reasonable 53% to $10.9 million. The ninth film in the Fast & Furious franchise now stands at $141.3 million domestically and has crossed the $500 million mark worldwide with $541.8 million. F9 is performing more or less exactly as expected and should end its domestic theatrical run at around $170 million, perhaps a little more. It is the hit that Universal hoped for, even with a $200 million budget.

The Boss Baby: Family Business took in $8.7 million in its second weekend, down a slightly higher than expected 46% from its start. The animated family sequel is in theaters and on Peacock both, and is doing moderately well (if not great) with $34.7 million domestically in two weekends. It has yet to attain a large international presence, opening in just a few territories so far, and the first film relied heavily on overseas numbers for its profit. It stands at $36.5 million worldwide thus far and has a ways to go to make profit against its $82 million production budget. Domestically it should end its run around $55 million to $60 million.

The Forever Purge held up very well for a Purge film, slipping 47% in its second weekend to $6.7 million. The fifth film in the horror-thriller franchise performed about on par with the legs of The First Purge, and well above the 60% or more drop of all the other entries. THe Forever Purge is now up to $27.4 million domestically and $34.8 million worldwide, doing well so far against an $18 million budget. In the US it should be able to top $45 million and could conceivably hit $50 million. Universal is reaping some profit here.

A Quiet Place Part II was off just 27% to $3 million in its seventh weekend, and became the first pandemic-era film to cross the $150 million mark domestically. The horror sequel now stands at $150.7 million in the States and $247.9 million worldwide, both fantastic numbers for a $61 million-budgeted film. Domestically it seems likely to grow close to (though not necessarily catch) the $188 domestic total of the first film, with $165 million to $170 million the likely endgame.

Cruella continued to show its aforementioned resilience at the box office, this week more than any. The live-action adaptation brought in $2.2 million in its seventh weekend down a mere 8% from last frame. It is now up to $80.8 million domestically and $216.9 million worldwide, profitable against its $100 million budget especially when factoring in the revenue for the its Disney+ Premier Access release. The film should end its run at at least $86 million, perhaps even a little higher. $90 million isn’t at all out of the question here.

The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard was down 47% in its fourth weekend to take in $1.6 million. The action-comedy sequel is now up to $35 million domestically and $56.1 million worldwide. It doesn’t seem likely to make back its $70 million budget without a boost as its international footprint explands throughout the summer. It has a a likely $40 million final domestic take.

Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway was down 43% in its fifth weekend, grossing $1.3 million. The live action/CGI hybrid now has a total of $37.7 million domestically and $139.4 million worldwide. The Sony film has hit a profit against the $45 million budget plus marketing, and will likely end its domestic run at around $42 million.

In the Heights was down 47% in its fifth weekend to $630,000. The Warner Bros. musical has now grossed $28.3 million domestically and $39 million worldwide. There are plenty of international markets left to go but it has a long way to make back its $55 million budget and should close its US run at around $30 million.

A24’s Zola stayed in the top 10 for a second week, bringing in $620,000. The critically-acclaimed drama is now up to $3.5 million, performing fairly admirably to date. The film cost $5 million and A24 still has plenty of options on rolling this out, which means it should be able to be a minor success.

Next weekend won’t see a major test for Black Widow as it goes up against a couple of films, most notably Warner Bros.’ Space Jam: A New Legacy which is opening day-and-date in theaters and on HBO Max. Sony is also releasing Escape Room: Tournament of Champions, the sequel to the surprise horror hit from 2019. Space Jam is expected to open in the $20 million range or so, while Escape Room: Tournament of Champions should be in the low teens.

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN (Three-Day Domestic Numbers)
1. Black Widow – $80 million ($80 million total)
2. F9: The Fast Saga – $10.9 million ($141.3 million total)
3. The Boss Baby: Family Business – $8.7 million ($34.7 million total)
4. The Forever Purge – $6.7 million ($27.4 million total)
5. A Quiet Place Part II – $3 million ($150.7 million total)
6. Cruella – $2.2 million ($80.8 million total)
7. The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard – $1.6 million ($35 million total)
8. Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway – $1.3 million ($37.7 million total)
9. In The Heights – $630,000 ($28.3 million total)
10. Zola – $620,000 ($3.5 million total)