Despite surpassing $215 million between the global box office and Disney+ Premier Access in its opening weekend, Marvel Studios’ latest MCU film, Black Widow, ended up suffering from a massive drop of 41 percent in its second weekend. The National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) has now given its thoughts on the predicament, alleging that Black Widow’s underperformance can be pinned strictly on Disney’s eagerness to launch the movie through its streaming service day and date with theaters. One of NATO’s major arguments pertains to piracy; Black Widow is reportedly “the most torrented movie for the week ending July 12” and “available on myriad illegal streaming sites all over the Internet.” NATO stresses that releasing films exclusively to theaters first is a better idea, as it traditionally results in more revenue for all stakeholders involved.
Based on comparable Marvel titles, and other successful pandemic-era titles like F9 and A Quiet Place 2 opening day to weekend ratios, Black Widow should have opened to anywhere from $92-$100 million. Based on preview revenue, compared to the same titles, Black Widow could have opened to anywhere from $97 to $130 million.