For the first time since the pandemic hit in mid-March 2020, the total domestic box office has finally exceeded $100M over three days. Yes, thanks in part to Disney’s release of the long-awaited Marvel title Black Widow.
Comscore is officially calling the weekend as of this morning at $117M, the biggest we’ve seen for US and Canada since the $156.1M which was rung up over the first three days of Presidents’ Day weekend 2020, Feb. 14-16. Eighty percent of the 5,88K domestic movie theaters are open, and Canada’s Ontario reopens next weekend.
There was no question that Black Widow would post the biggest opening for the pandemic at $80M (to date). However, the Disney+ Premier aspect (which is reportedly $60M global, and anywhere north of $20M stateside as Disney claimed a $100M consumer spend victory) clearly cut into box office monies, as evident in the pic’s huge -41% drop between Friday and Saturday. That was a greater plunge than Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp over its first two days (plus Thursday previews) (-30%), other Marvel origin movies (Captain Marvel -14%, Ant-Man -14%, Black Panther -13% and Doctor Strange -3.7%) and recent summer theatrical windowed movies A Quiet Place Part II (-22%) and F9 (-25%). Exhibition could have shared more in the upside of Black Widow, but that PVOD cash is clearly in Disney’s hands.
The 2021 box office for the period of Jan. 1-July 11 is now running only 30% behind 2020 with $1.32 billion. This weekend repped a +70% spike over last weekend, but was 8% behind the same second weekend frame in July 2019 ($126.9M). Those in exhibition tell me that the domestic box office will fully be back to normal once we’re beating comparable 2019 weekend levels.