Theater Owners Blast Disney for Making ‘Black Widow’ Available Immediately on Streaming

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Hollywood Reporter 18 July, 2021 - 06:19pm 7 views

Is Black Widow free on Disney plus?

Black Widow is available only for subscribers who pay an extra fee. It's available through the Premier Access model, which requires an extra $30 payment on top of the regular price of a Disney Plus subscription. CNETDisney Plus: Streaming Black Widow, movies, shows and everything else

How did Black Widow Die in endgame?

Black Widow met an untimely and tragic end halfway through Avengers: Endgame, sacrificing herself on Vormir so that Hawkeye could retrieve the Soul Stone. ... During Infinity War, Thanos was sent to the world inside the Soul Stone immediately following the snap that dusted half of the world's population. inverse.com'Avengers: Endgame' theory solves a big mystery about Black Widow's death

How did Black Widow do at box office?

I cover the film industry. Black Widow and F9 may spend most of the rest of 2021 as the year's biggest Hollywood grossers. Black Widow earned another $5.5 million in North America yesterday, crossing the $100 million mark on day six of theatrical release. ForbesBox Office: ‘Black Widow’ Tops $100M US And $200M Global

By Rebecca Rubin

Movie theater operators did not mince words in asserting that Disney left money on the table by putting Marvel’s “Black Widow” on Disney Plus on the same day as its theatrical debut.

In March, Disney announced that “Black Widow,” among several other 2021 films, would premiere simultaneously at home — for a premium $30 price — and on the big screen while the movie theater industry attempted to recover from the pandemic. On July 9, “Black Widow” opened to $80 million in the U.S., setting a new COVID-era box office record. Disney padded the film’s global haul by reporting that the Scarlett Johansson-led comic book adventure collected an additional $60 million worldwide on Disney Plus.

Ten days after its debut, the National Association of Theatre Owners, the industry’s main lobbying arm, released a fiery statement about its method of release. For measure, NATO seemed to like “Black Widow,” going as far as calling it “such a well-made, well-received, highly anticipated movie.” Still, the group says the $200-million budgeted “Black Widow” underperformed at the box office and on Disney Plus.

“Despite assertions that this pandemic-era improvised release strategy was a success for Disney and the simultaneous release model, it demonstrates that an exclusive theatrical release means more revenue for all stakeholders in every cycle of the movie’s life,” the statement said.

The pushback from NATO comes at a time when the movie business is still struggling to recover from the pandemic. Crippling efforts, film exhibitors say, is the fact that Hollywood studios are no longer playing their movies exclusively on the big screen. Prior to COVID, new releases had to screen in theaters for at least 75 days before moving to premium video-on-demand. Now, that’s no longer the case. Many of the biggest titles to release in the past 18 months, including “Wonder Woman 1984” and “Cruella,” were also available concurrently on various streaming services. Yet the highest-grossing movies of the year, “A Quiet Place Part II” and “F9,” were only in theaters for the first few weeks of their release.

Hollywood studios and movie theater operators have a historically contentious relationship, with the pandemic shifting the power overwhelmingly in favor of film distributors. Yes, studios need movie theaters to generate profits on mega-budgeted tentpoles, but COVID proved that without compelling content to show on the big screen, movie theaters don’t have as much to offer. The hot-and-cold factions last got in a public spat in April 2020 when several theater chains, including AMC and Regal, threatened to boycott Universal’s movies. They finally set aside that particular feud in the name of money.

Without a hybrid release, NATO predicts that “Black Widow” would have secured a much larger opening weekend, somewhere north of $92 to $100 million. And while the film soared past the opening weekends of recent releases like “A Quiet Place 2” and “F9,” its ticket sales quickly dropped off. In its sophomore outing, “Black Widow” collected $26 million, a huge 69% decline. Or, as NATO put it, a “stunning second weekend collapse in theatrical revenues.”

Its inaugural earnings weren’t as robust as some initially perceived, NATO claims. When it comes to box office grosses, studios have to split the profits 50-50 with movie theater owners. (However, Disney tends to get a more favorable split due to its box office dominance.) It gets a larger chunk of change from rentals, compared to box office sales. However, NATO highlights, the studio doesn’t get to keep all of the money from online rentals. Approximately 15% of revenue goes to the various platforms, like Roku and Apple TV, through which consumers can access Disney Plus.

“It ignores that Premier Access revenue is not new-found money, but was pulled forward from a more traditional PVOD window, which is no longer an option,” the statement reads. “Combined with the lost theatrical revenue and forgone traditional PVOD revenue, the answer to these questions will show that simultaneous release costs Disney money in revenue per viewer over the life of the film.”

Per NATO, early analysis of the film also failed to consider that its release on Disney Plus cuts into downstream revenues and makes the film a prime candidate for piracy. According to the website TorrentFreak, “Black Widow” was the most pirated movie of the week. All the while, Disney Plus subscribers have the ability to share their password with other households, limiting the number of transactions. NATO says Disney isn’t alone in these particular threats. It was also the case for other day-and-date releases, such as “Godzilla vs. Kong” and “Mortal Kombat,” two Warner Bros. titles that premiered on HBO Max. “How much money did everyone lose to simultaneous release piracy?” NATO asks. It’s one of many pressing inquiries that remains unanswered.

“The many questions raised by Disney’s limited release of streaming data opening weekend are being rapidly answered by Black Widow’s disappointing and anomalous performance,” NATO said. “The most important answer is that simultaneous release is a pandemic-era artifact that should be left to history with the pandemic itself.”

Read full article at Hollywood Reporter

Black Widow Is a Good Film, but It Has Flaws That Need Addressing

Gizmodo 19 July, 2021 - 11:00pm

With Black Widow sandwiched between two huge blockbusters Avengers: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, I hoped that Marvel would take some risk to give fans something more grounded. At least something on par with Captain America: Winter Soldier—a film I consider to be the perfect balance between grounded and spectacle.

It is at the prison break I realized Black Widow was going to be another superhero movie filled with things we’ve seen again and again. Don’t get me wrong, I love a big bang sky threat, but in this film, the spectacle overshadows some of the critical themes Black Widow tries to address with CGI overload. This is what I should have expected from a superhero film, right? Maybe my expectations were too high, but it’s not wrong to want something different from these films, especially the first and last for Natasha Romanoff.

The movie never goes deep enough on how Natasha was and is still affected by what the Red Room did to her and her real family. There are plenty of scenes of Scarlett Johannson just staring off into the distance and flatly delivering one-liners, but nothing memorable from her to latch onto.

What the audience should have seen from Natasha, we get from Yelena. In the scene where Red Guardian, Natasha, Yelena, and Melina (Rachel Weisz) reunite and have dinner, you feel Yelena’s anguish having gone through indoctrination by the Red Room and how real their family felt to her. Natasha is just sitting there.

The more I process it, the more I understand Black Widow isn’t so much a send-off for Natasha as it is an introduction for Yelena. The film is more invested in her and her struggle. This makes sense because the character will be in the MCU for the foreseeable future.

In addition, Florence Pugh is excellent and having the time of her life in the role. Johansson and Weisz sleepwalk through their performances until the end. Almost like the actresses can’t wait for it all to be over. Black Widow has remained one of my favorite characters since Iron Man 2, and to see her going out like this is unfortunate.

Despite all these complaints and all the squandered potential, I STILL LIKE BLACK WIDOW! Cate Shorthand has a sharp eye for directing action and understands how to shoot a fight scene by using timing and space as leverage so the audience can see everything. Black Widow is mostly entertaining and staunchly dramatic—which I thought was a nice touch.

I know many of you will disagree, so let’s talk about it. For those of you that saw the film, leave your thoughts on the movie below!

Even so , They had the parts of a really good film but the script screamed for rework and some rewriting ,at least to answer some questions .

Who made the mind clearing dust ?How the ex widow got a hold of it ? How was her head cleared ? Where was she taking it ? How did the evil widows know about it ? Or where to find her ?

How was Task master able to track the box of dust to Scarlet’s safe house?

Sis sends the red dust to Scarlet’s safe house ,but when scarlet shows up there with it she tries to kill her?and she is mad at her ? Why not enclose a note? like this clear’s minds get it to Avenger’s or Stark.

Like why Red Guardian was in regular prison, and getting fat .Why he remembers fighting Cap ,when you set something like that how about a payoff? Like a simple it was an implanted memory from his”wife” ? .Turning Taskmaster into a cyborg cylon was stupid .

How come she got scared but daddy didn’t ?

Scarlet got in shield by killing daddy and shield didn’t demand proof of death???/

Lets not even talk about the The you can’t hurt me cause I smell part.......

Black Widow Puts Its Feminist Message at the Forefront | CBR

CBR - Comic Book Resources 19 July, 2021 - 11:00pm

Marvel has put out a few solely female-led projects at this point: the now questionably canonical Agent Carter and Jessica Jones, Captain Marvel and now Black Widow. All of these have featured fairly straightforward "girl power" messages, to the point that naysayers (or misogynists) could accuse them of being heavy-handed and even fans might acknowledge that the company approaches things in a rather basic way. There are also understandable complaints that these projects haven't portrayed intersectionality as well as they should.

The fact remains, though, that while those who are educated about feminist issues already know what these TV shows and movies have pointed out (and those who are particularly resistant to those issues will probably complain that they're being forced to endure sociopolitics in their media), there are other viewers, particularly younger people, that are going to watch these and genuinely learn something important about the world. It might make them think about these issues in a new way or for the first time; it might even help them become stronger in their understanding. By putting these very serious issues in an easy-to-understand format, Black Widow makes them more accessible.

It's also worth noting that while all of Marvel's female-led projects have presented pretty simple feminist points, they've featured different feminist points. For instance, Agent Carter and Captain Marvel were both about women trying to make a place for themselves in a "man's" world: Peggy (Hayley Atwell) struggles in the already more sexist 1940s to be respected as a spy, while Carol (Brie Larson) struggles to follow her dreams of flying in the male-dominated military and then gets subjected to the social structures of Kree society, which is mired in sexism, at least in the comics. Peggy and Carol both want to be taken seriously as heroes and people, though the details of their stories, and the feminist points made therein, aren't identical.

Black Widow comes closer to the themes in Jessica Jones, but it takes them a step farther. In addition to reacting to and healing from trauma, Natasha (Scarlett Johansson)Yelena (Florence Pugh) and the other Widows have to deal with a systematic culture of abuse, lies and disposability. When they're introduced in the film, they're children under the care of Melina (Rachel Weisz) and Alexei (David Harbour); Natasha seems to have some memories of the Red Room, but Yelena is young enough that this fake family is all that she knows. They've lived a lie, and the only reason for it is that Melina and Alexei look more like good, wholesome Americans if they have a proper family. Thus, the girls are essentially props.

When they're called back to the Red Room and returned to a group of young Widows, Dreykov specifically orders soldiers to cull the weaker girls. Natasha's Avengers: Age of Ultron flashbacks mention that only the strong girls survive; Yelena later mentions that many girls didn't make it through Widow training. Dreykov even describes young girls as "the only natural resource the world has too much of." Throughout Black Widow, Natasha has to cope with the aftereffects of painful, dehumanizing social conditioning; Yelena and her generation of Widows are subject to literal brainwashing, which only furthers the dehumanization.

There's also Antonia (Olga Kurylenko), Dreykov's daughter. Natasha thinks she killed Antonia when she did away with the Red Room, but instead she wounded the young girl and paved the way for Dreykov to turn his daughter into a chipped, super-suited, robotic fighter. Antonia is even more literally objectified, and freeing her from that is a key part of Natasha's arc.

In fact, it's all strikingly similar to the themes in 2015's Mad Max: Fury Road. That film is more about women being treated as disposable sex objects, while Black Widow is about women being treated as disposable action dolls, who might also be sex objects if it's necessary, but both films are about women seeking freedom and redemption from a broken, sexist system that treats them horribly. "We are not things," Fury Road's women say, and Natasha and Yelena fight directly against the Red Room and how it makes them and other women into things. They may not be subtle points, but they're powerful, and in a world that still struggles with misogyny and objectification, it's very necessary to discuss and think about these issues.

Every Feminist Message In Black Widow | Screen Rant

Screen Rant 19 July, 2021 - 11:00pm

Black Widow is easily the most feminist Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, with an abundance of scenes affirming female experiences and exploring female relationships. The movie doesn't just rely on main character Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) to represent all women, but includes other strong female characters like Yelena (Florence Pugh) and Melina (Rachel Weisz). The movie itself also centers around the liberation of women, as Natasha and Yelena embark on a mission to destroy the Red Room.

Marvel has a spotty track record when it comes to representing women in its multimillion-dollar franchise. While many of its 24 movies include strong female characters, less than half pass the Bechdel test, where two women must talk to each other about something other than a man. Even that count is giving the MCU some leeway on the rules - for example, during Iron Man 2Natasha and Pepper talk about business for a second, but quickly move on to Tony. In Guardians of the GalaxyNebula and Gamora have a brief and hostile conversation, but again, quickly move on. Characters like Darcy (Thor), Janet (Ant-Man and the Wasp), and Shuri (Black Panther) tell young girls that they too can grow up to be smart, confident game-changers, but even in the MCU, the world revolves around men. There are almost no conversations about the lives, careers, or concerns of women. There isn't even much banter between female characters outside of Captain Marvel

It's also worth noting that of the eight movies in which Natasha appears, only four (barely) pass the Bechdel test, including Black Widow. Natasha is arguably the most significant female character in the MCU thus far, being a member of the Avengers. During MCU movies, however, she's often underrepresented and reduced to a sidekick. Black Widow promised to put the spotlight on Natasha, and by all accounts, it delivered. The movie not only features a feminist story, but includes dozens of other moments that speak to women. Here are all the big ones.

In one striking exchange, Melina confesses that the reason she's loyal to Dreykov is because she doesn't know how to be anything else — she was born in a cage. Natasha responds by saying she doesn't have to stay there. By tearing down the Red Room, Natasha and Yelena are freeing dozens of other women whose humanity was stripped away, who were forced to be tools. In the real world, these women might have been forced into sex slavery or sweatshops. Black Widow gives audiences some hope that can change.

Yelena also takes great joy in teasing Natasha about her reputation as an Avenger and her relationship with the rest of the team. "I doubt the god from space has to take an Ibuprofen after a fight," she says at one point. Later, in one of the most relatable scenes of the film, Yelena shows off her stylish and useful Army surplus vest to Natasha. Although Natasha makes fun of her at first, she eventually admits she's a fan of the piece of clothing. It's a small moment, but it's in scenes like this that many women can truly see themselves - which is especially important given how much previous Black Widow outfits were designed largely for fanservice instead of practicality. Who doesn't know the joy of finding the perfect, pocket-filled accessory?

Yelena's frank discussion of periods and female reproduction ties into a larger societal conversation about female sexuality. Menstruation is still a taboo topic in many circles, despite it being a regular part of life for most women. Having a period is an experience that spans decades, but it's often seen as "nasty" or "clinical," in Alexei's words. Making menstruation part of the dialogue in a mainstream Marvel movie helps demystify this aspect of biology and encourages others to slam people who try to shame them for it.

Throughout Black Widow, Alexei also assumes the role of an absent father, confident in his opinion that he's done the right thing by his daughters. Although Alexei's made many mistakes, as evidenced by the way his daughters' lives have turned out, he's unrepentant. Alexei does earn some trust toward the end of the movie, when he seems to finally recognize the mistakes he's made. He attempts to make genuine apologies to Natasha, Yelena, and Melina. In another feminist twist, however, the women don't have time to stick around for his speeches. They've already moved on and are taking action, without the need for Alexei's approval.

Black Widow Suffers Worst Box Office "Collapse" in MCU History

ComicBook.com 19 July, 2021 - 11:00pm

Just over a week after helping bring the box office back to life, Black Widow has started its rapid descent, potentially quicker than what most theaters insiders even anticipated. After last weekend's pandemic record-setting $80 million opening haul, Black Widow dropped 67.5-percent in its second week, another Marvel record in and of itself. Over the course of its second weekend in theaters, Black Widow collected just $26 million at the domestic office.

The drop was so severe, the National Association of Theatre Owners opted to release a statement blaming Disney's decision to release Black Widow both in theaters and on Disney+ Premier Access at the same time.

“Despite assertions that this pandemic-era improvised release strategy was a success for Disney and the simultaneous release model, it demonstrates that an exclusive theatrical release means more revenue for all stakeholders in every cycle of the movie’s life,” NATO said in the press release (via Variety).

“It ignores that Premiere Access revenue is not new-found money, but was pulled forward from a more traditional PVOD window, which is no longer an option,” the statement added.”Combined with the lost theatrical revenue and forgone traditional PVOD revenue, the answer to these questions will show that simultaneous release costs Disney money in revenue per viewer over the life of the film."

The film ended up hitting theaters over a year after it was expected to debut. Even though Scarlett Johansson herself has said the movie's probably her last as Natasha Romanoff, that fact alone couldn't give the feature enough legs to top the box office a second-straight week — Warner Brothers' Space Jam: A New Legacy settled atop the charts this weekend.

"Honestly, I feel like it's always, it feels great to leave a party when it's still raging and I think that this film feels very much like it's alive and fresh and powerful and I feel really pleased with it. I feel really happy with the work that we've done for this decade of time," Johansson shared with ComicBook.com about leaving the MCU behind. "You know, it's bittersweet to say 'goodbye,' but if you love something, you need to set it free!"

Black Widow is now in theaters and streaming on Disney+ Premier Access. If you haven't signed up for Disney+ yet, you can try it out here.

Which characters would you like to see makeup the MCU's Dark Avengers? Let us know your thoughts either in the comments section or by hitting our writer @AdamBarnhardt up on Twitter to chat all things MCU!

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Marvel: This Black Widow is the female action hero I've been wanting

Metro.co.uk 19 July, 2021 - 11:00pm

Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) entered the Marvel Cinematic Universe with a skin tight shirt to accentuate her curves and little dialogue to encourage us to, well, simply look at her.

After observing the character for less than two minutes in Iron Man 2, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) says, ‘I want one.’ 

It was an incredibly sexualised introduction to the Russian-American spy, letting all the female viewers know that this was a film made with the male gaze in mind and thus Black Widow was relegated to the ‘token’ female Avenger. 

As a huge Marvel fan age 15, I was disappointed to see such a limited view of a female action hero. 

While I loved Black Widow’s inclusion in the Avengers movies, I wanted more from the character. In some ways, I related more to the male action heroes, they could be funny and heartbroken, then strong all in the same scene.

Their existence didn’t revolve around their appearance. Also as an insecure teenager, I didn’t see myself in the sexy female character and I felt that I needed to change (especially my weight) in order to be worthy of being seen both on and off screens.

Scarlet Johannsson herself criticised this recently. Ahead of the release of her standalone film, Black Widow, Johannsson said of her 2010 role: ‘…the character is so sexualised. [She is] really talked about like she’s a piece of something, like a possession or a thing or whatever – like a piece of ass, really.’

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For decades, Hollywood has churned out male-dominated action movies with a thin, yet curvaceous, beautiful woman on the main character’s arm. 

Sequels to the biggest action franchises are not only lucrative at the box office, but they thrive off this outdated formula. This year alone sees the return of male-led action flicks Top Gun: Maverick, Fast & Furious 9 and No Time to Die. 

Johannsson isn’t the only female lead to have been stereotyped in the genre. The Transformers franchise degraded Megan Fox under Michael Bay’s direction to an object, often wearing skimpy outfits or revealing low-cut tops.

Films such as Mr and Mrs Smith offered Angelina Jolie the role of an assassin but only as part of a male and female team and the violence was overtly sexual – a passionate expression of their love for each other. She even uses her looks to distract her male opponent on more than one occasion – similar to several scenes in Charlie’s Angels.

As all of these films have male directors – clearly made predominantly with a masculine audience in mind – the inequality between the sexes abounds on screen. Unnecessary female nudity, provocative clothing and lady characters whose sole purpose is to develop the male’s narrative. 

As a female viewer – and as a feminist – it’s incredibly frustrating to watch as the dialogue, outfits and reactions of the women characters feel inauthentic.

As a result of the misogynistic formula, the potential of female-led action has been seriously overlooked, that is until the quite frankly astounding, Black Widow.

A decade on, Johansson stars in her own solo movie and the Black Widows are given the grit, practical hairstyles (who would ever enter combat with their hair down?) and epic fight sequences they deserve. 

The highly-anticipated movie was long overdue even before the pandemic, with most of the male Avengers now having their own trilogy of films.

This refreshing new depiction of Black Widow is down to Australian Cate Shortland’s direction – she is best known for her Nazi drama Lore and she is the first female solo director in Marvel’s history. 

For Shortland, this was an opportunity to shine a light on Natasha Romanoff’s strength and skill. Shortland said that she wanted to ‘expose the character and get under her skin’ to uncover the multi-faceted layers beneath the heroine fans know and love.

Critics have described Black Widow (both the movie and the character herself) as ‘bad-ass’ and I agree – since its release I’ve already watched it twice at the cinema and once on Disney+.

It is the Marvel film I’ve been waiting for since I was 15. As soon as the film started, I was in tears from the poignant opening exploring human trafficking with Malia J’s chilling rendition of Smells like Teen Spirit.

It was so empowering to see women fighting for each other’s freedom in such a physical way, even simply watching a film where most of the main characters are women made me emotional as I realised how rare that is in films.

While women account for 50% of movie goers, out of the 100 top grossing films in 2019, only 10% had female directors

The female cast dominate the narrative bringing incredible depth, realism and emotion to their roles. Shortland ensures it is realistically violent – Natasha breaks her own nose at one point, which is as ruthless and as impactful as any male action sequence.

Yet the fight scenes are not sexualised: women enter into combat in functional suits and hairstyles to show off their skills, not their bodies. That doesn’t mean they don’t look incredible.

Female fans are adopting the aesthetic of the Widows (especially the braids and extensive ear candy) on TikTok due to how powerful and, to use Black Widow’s sister Yelena’s words, ‘really cool’ they appear.

It seems that without a male director (previously Jon Favreau, Joss Whedon, Joe and Anthony Russo) controlling the gaze, women are able to become nuanced heroes. 

In the film, all the Widows fight with relentless power and force, while showing the full emotional spectrum of what their characters are capable of. 

Natasha is humanised. In an early scene in the film, she removes her shirt but faces the wall to reveal deep bruises across her back, as opposed to in Iron Man 2 when she removes her shirt and Happy (Jon Favreau) is distracted by Natasha’s chest. 

It’s these small changes that let the audience know she’s a person with a backstory, as opposed to an object to look at. 

Often women in action films exist only to be saved, to offer support to the hero (such as Hope Van Dyne in Ant Man) or as a serious or fleeting romantic interest.

The women might participate in a battle, but their efforts are typically overshadowed by the male hero’s fight sequences. 

Yet, when Marvel breaks this mould the movies have proved a success. For instance, their first female standalone film, Captain Marvel, in 2019 made over a billion dollars worldwide at the box office. The writers and directors, Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, crafted Carol Denvers (Brie Larson) as a strong, funny, loving woman with (at the time) unparalleled power by any other Avenger. 

It seems that finally women can adopt the kick-ass action hero role they have historically been denied. All it takes is bringing more women into the development, production and direction.

While women account for 50% of movie goers, out of the 100 top grossing films in 2019, only 10% had female directors. 

To get equal representation on screen, more off-screen space must be allowed for diverse new talent to shine. 

While Black Widow could be the beginning of a shift to more female-led action movies, I hope this trend will move beyond superhero movies into all genres.

I don’t mean recreating beloved classics such as the Ghostbusters 2016 reboot or Oceans 8 (both of which are great), but Hollywood and beyond must focus on creating gritty, realistic leading roles for women.

There should be no such thing as ‘boy films’ and ‘girl films’ – it’s time to step away from the sexual stereotypes. That way, every audience member benefits from rich, varied stories with a fascinating leading character, no matter what their gender.

‘Black Widow’: Theatre Owners Blast Disney’s Day & Date Strategy For Undermining Marvel Pic’s Box Office & Future Revenues

Yahoo Entertainment 18 July, 2021 - 05:50pm

In a press release dropped this afternoon following our analysis of what went sideways with the Marvel Cinematic Universe title, NATO asks how can a well-reviewed, well-received, highly anticipated Marvel title underperform leading to a first weekend Friday-to-Saturday collapse of -41%, and a -67% drop in weekend 2? NATO comes to the same conclusions as we did in regards to Black Widow getting her legs picked off: Piracy, and Disney+ at-home cannibalization which impacts not just the box office, but the pic’s subsequent home window as well.

The Disney theatrical day-and-date Disney+ model “ignores that Premiere Access revenue is not new-found money, but was pulled forward from a more traditional PVOD window, which is no longer an option” reports NATO.

“Despite assertions that this pandemic-era improvised release strategy was a success for Disney and the simultaneous release model, it demonstrates that an exclusive theatrical release means more revenue for all stakeholders in every cycle of the movie’s life,” emphasizes the NATO news drop.

Given the opening day to weekend ratios of other comparable Marvel movies, and other successful pandemic-era titles like F9 and A Quiet Place Part II, NATO says that Black Widow should have opened to between $92M-$100M. “Based on preview revenue, compared to the same titles, Black Widow could have opened to anywhere from $97M to $130M,” adds the release.

NATO goes further in specifying the lost amount of dollars for both Black Widow and exhibition: “The average number of people per household in the U.S. is 2.37. One can assume the family-oriented Disney+ household is larger. How much? How much password sharing is there among Disney+ subscribers? Combined with the lost theatrical revenue and forgone traditional PVOD revenue, the answer to these questions will show that simultaneous release costs Disney money in revenue per viewer over the life of the film.”

NATO also pointed to the Torrent Freak report that we cited how for the week ending July 12, Black Widow was the most pirated movie. We’ve heard from industry sources that Black Widow was pirated even more than Wonder Woman 1984.

“Piracy no doubt further affected Black Widow’s performance, and will affect its future performance in international markets where it has yet to open,” says the NATO release, with pristine copies “also available on myriad illegal streaming sites all over the internet.”

Concludes NATO: “This was also the case for all simultaneous releases (Wonder Woman 1984, Godzilla vs Kong, Cruella, Mortal Kombat). This did not happen for F9 or A Quiet Place Part II. How much money did everyone lose to simultaneous release piracy? The many questions raised by Disney’s limited release of streaming data opening weekend are being rapidly answered by Black Widow’s disappointing and anomalous performance. The most important answer is that simultaneous release is a pandemic-era artifact that should be left to history with the pandemic itself.”

NATO also specified like we did that Disney+ doesn’t keep 100% of their Premier revenue, but 15% of it goes to the platform providers.

At the onset of the pandemic last March before all movie theaters closed down, NATO spoke out against Universal’s then theatrical-PVOD day-and-date release for Trolls World Tour. Very quickly, due to COVID, this wound up being largely a PVOD release with only drive-ins in operation at that point in time booking the Dreamworks Animation sequel. A few months later AMC publicly dinged Universal over their attempted crunching of windows, which resulted in a peaceful settlement between the studio and No. 1 exhibitor whereby the theatrical window was crunched on most titles for 17 days, followed by a simultaneous PVOD release, of which AMC would be able to share in. On those titles opening to north of $50M, Uni’s theatrical window lasts longer at 30 days before hitting PVOD.

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“Black Widow” ceded its No. 1 spot to an unlikely foe in its second week in theaters: The Tune Squad. LeBron James, Bugs Bunny and the rest of the stars of Warner Bros.’ “Space Jam: A New Legacy” defied expectations and won the box office this weekend. According to studio estimates Sunday, “Space Jam: A New Legacy” grossed $31.7 million in North America, while “Black Widow” took in $26.3 million.

After “Black Widow” took a 67% drop this weekend at the box office from its $80 million opening, the National Association of Theater Owners is swiping back against Disney’s release strategy of placing the Marvel blockbuster in both theaters and on paid streaming simultaneously. “Despite assertions that this pandemic-era improvised release strategy was a success for Disney and the simultaneous release model, it demonstrates that an exclusive theatrical release means more revenue for all stakehold

Bollywood star Vidyut Jammwal is debuting as a producer via his Action Hero Films outfit and is teaming with Reliance Entertainment and T-Series for espionage thriller “IB 71.” Jammwal, best known for his “Commando” action film franchise, will also star in the film as an Indian intelligence officer deployed in the run up to the […]

Last week, Disney very proudly crowed about the fact that Black Widow had made $60 million from Disney+ Premiere Access in its opening weekend on top of some $80 million or so at the regular box office, proving that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is still viable in post-COVID theaters (to the extent that we are even remotely post-COVID) and that people are also willing to spend $30 on top of their existing Disney+ subscription to see a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie. It was like Disney could do

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Jungle Cruise is in theaters and on Disney+ Premiere Access on July 30

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As piracy spikes, Disney suddenly seems a lot more hesitant to share Black Widow box office numbers

Yahoo Lifestyle 18 July, 2021 - 04:27pm

Until this week. It looks like Space Jam: A New Legacy is going to beat Black Widow at the box office this weekend, with the former making $31 million and the latter making $26.5 million—which is a 67 percent drop, the steepest an MCU movie has ever fallen. This is particularly insulting to the mouse because Space Jam: A New Legacy is also available on HBO Max for free to subscribers, so people could see it without a premium fee like Black Widow has on Disney+ and they were still more willing to go see it in theaters than they were the Marvel movie. This all comes from Deadline, which puts an even finer point on it by noting that Disney is suddenly a lot less interested in sharing how much money Black Widow made on Disney+ this weekend… so, it’s probably less than $60 million.

Deadline is reading too much into this, since you could use these stats to make a whole lot of arguments (maybe streaming audiences just aren’t into female-led superhero movies or maybe the thrill of briefly seeing Rick and Morty on the big screen was simply too appealing or maybe the Delta variant of COVID-19 is scaring people?!), but it does point out that popular piracy sites are loving Black Widow, with unnamed sources suggesting that it’s “the most-pirated title to date during the pandemic, ahead of Wonder Woman 1984.” Declaring that piracy is The Reason that Black Widow’s box office numbers fell is a leap, because the sort of person who would pirate Black Widow isn’t necessarily the same person who would’ve gone to the theater or paid for the Disney+ Premier Access option, but if illegally streaming it is as easy as Deadline suggests it is (and if the official-seeming presentation of some of these pirate sites is as believable as Deadline thinks it is, as unlikely as it seems that someone would seriously believe that a Disney movie is legally streaming on something called Yarrrflix or Eyepatch+ or Yo-Ho-Ho Max and they know how to do that without burning down their computer), then there are definitely some people who chose the free one over the expensive one.

Deadline sees this as a sign that premium streaming options will not last, which very well might be true, but it also says “the Napster millennials have grown up” and that “they’re used to getting their media for free,” which seems a little harder to buy. The people who used Napster are in their 30s or 40s now, and they’re the ones buying tickets to see these Marvel movies anyway, so who knows what sort of lesson to pull from any of this. The more interesting test case will be Jungle Cruise, which opens at the end of this month, as it’s supposed to be the final movie to get the Disney+ Premiere Access service. We’ll see if that’s really the case.

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Welcome to “What’s Good,” where we break down what’s soothing, distracting, or just plain good in the streaming world with a “rooting for everybody Black” energy. Enjoy! What’s Good? One thing about me: I’m gonna watch a basketball movie. Space Jam: A New Legacy is in theatres and on demand today and while I hesitate to heap praise on a movie that isn’t even trying to hide its blatant attempt to brainwash children into loving a billion-dollar corporation as much as they love LeBron James, it is

After 25 years, 'Space Jam' is back with a 'New Legacy' and a slew of collectibles, from Funko Pops and pet toys to plushes and hoops!

It’s no secret that whenever kids watch a new fun movie, it’s pretty much all they’ll talk about for the next few weeks. And now that the highly anticipated Space Jam movie starring LeBron James is officially out, we wouldn’t be surprised if it instantly becomes your child’s new favorite film. Luckily, there’s a way […]

Why Black Widow Isn't Natasha's Origin Story (It's Yelena's)

Screen Rant 18 July, 2021 - 03:19pm

After years of waiting for Natasha Romanoff's origin story, Black Widow failed to deliver on its promise to fans. Instead of taking a deep dive into Natasha's past, the movie focuses on her adopted sister Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), who is on a mission to free her fellow Red Room agents. Although Natasha (Scarlett Johansson) is the main character, Yelena is the true star of the film.

Black Widow starts with a glimpse into Natasha's childhood as she and three other Russian agents are embedded in the U.S. as a sleeper cell. Natasha's little sister, Yelena, is only a small child when they're both handed back over to the Red Room to be trained as assassins. Years later, the action starts when Yelena is freed from the Red Room's mind control. After reaching out to Natasha for help, the two join forces to try and take down Dreykov and the Red Room from within.

While Black Widow ties up loose ends in Natasha's MCU narrative and reveals some aspects of her past, it never fully explains her own liberation from the Red Room or her defection to S.H.I.E.L.D. In fact, it negates some aspects of her story by revealing the Red Room still exists and its leader Dreykov is alive and well. The heart of the movie is Yelena's own liberation. After being freed from Dreykov's brainwashing, Yelena embarks on a mission to bring down the entire organization. Natasha, meanwhile, is on a quest for revenge

Natasha's primary motivator in Black Widow is revenge. As an Avenger, she's already put her life as a Soviet operative mostly behind her. Upon learning the Red Room is still active, Natasha has unfinished business. She uses the opportunity to settle some questions about her past, but is mostly just out to kill Dreykov. When Drekyov's death does come, however, it's at the hands of Yelena, as are many of the major events in the movie. Yelena's story is a more powerful redemption narrative, as she escapes the Red Room, recruits Natasha, and tries to free her fellow widows. Yelena's actions are what drive the plot forward and offer closure to the audience in the film's finale.

Black Widow is also the start of a longer story for Yelena. For Natasha, the mission is simply an interlude to her larger Avengers arc. The movie takes place after (most of) the events of Captain America: Civil War and before Natasha's death in Avengers: EndgameThe film is bookended by MCU movies that overshadow her story of found family. Yelena, on the other hand, is making her entree into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And if Pugh's performance is anything to go by, fans can expect great things from her character before it's all over.

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