‘Black Widow’ spins new Covid-era box office record

Published July 14, 2021, 7:08 AM

by Agence-France-Presse

In this file photo taken on July 20, 2019 President of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige (left) and US actress Scarlett Johansson present the movie ‘Black Widow’ on stage during the Marvel panel in Hall H of the Convention Center during Comic Con in San Diego, California. (Photo by Chris Delmas / AFP)

New Disney superhero film “Black Widow” took just over $80 million in North American theaters this weekend — a pandemic-era record that highlights the continuing lure of the Marvel Cinematic Universe — industry watcher Exhibitor Relations reported Monday.

The movie, starring Scarlett Johansson as the Russian former superspy, took $80.4 million at the domestic box office between Friday and Sunday.

With an additional $60 million-plus from streaming on Disney Plus (at $29.99 for subscribers), and $78 million in international theaters, the long-awaited Marvel spin-off has landed an impressive global total of more than $218 million so far.

Hollywood Reporter called it “unprecedented” for a studio to announce its streaming total on a film’s opening weekend.

The film has not yet been granted a release date in China, where Beijing is seeking to boost domestic summer blockbusters.

Far behind “Black Widow” in second place was Universal’s action thriller “F9: The Fast Saga,” at $11.4 million, down by roughly half from last weekend’s take.

It had held the previous pandemic-era record with a $70 million opening. Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez and John Cena star in this ninth installment in the “Fast and Furious” franchise.

Universal also claimed the next two box-office spots.

In third was its animated sequel “The Boss Baby: Family Business,” at $8.9 million. The yarn about a cannily can-do “boss baby” features the voices of Alec Baldwin, Eva Longoria, Jeff Goldblum and Lisa Kudrow.

Horror film “The Forever Purge” placed fourth, at $7.1 million. This latest in the “Purge” series is again set in a dystopian near-future where all crime, even murder, is made legal one day a year. Ana de la Reguera and Tenoch Huerta star.

And in fifth was Paramount’s “A Quiet Place: Part II,” at $3.2 million, pushing its domestic total near $150 million in its seventh week. John Krasinski directed the horror flick; his wife Emily Blunt stars.

This weekend marked the first time since Covid-19 struck that the domestic box office has surpassed $100 million. The top 12 films combined hit $118.8 million, around 20 percent higher than last weekend.

Rounding out the top 10 were:

“Cruella” ($2.4 million)

“The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” ($1.6 million)

“Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway” ($1.3 million)

“The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” ($655,000)

“In the Heights” ($620,000)