Theater Owners Sound Piracy Alarm Over Disney+ ‘Black Widow’ Streaming Reveal


Hollywood Reporter 20 July, 2021 - 04:05pm 20 views

When will black widow be on Disney plus?

Black Widow will be available to all Disney+ subscribers on October 6th, 2021 for no additional cost. disneyplus.comDisney+

Major exhibitors attributed the Marvel film’s ‘stunning collapse’ in week two to the Hollywood giant’s $30 direct-to-consumer experiment as the film tops illegal download lists.

By Pamela McClintock

Where is Peter Pan when he’s needed to battle the pirate Captain Hook?

Throughout the pandemic, new studio event pics — from Wonder Woman 1984 to Godzilla vs. Kong to Black Widow — are fueling piracy because of their dual releases on streaming and in cinemas. The minute a movie hits a streaming service, pristine copies are available on myriad sites. In normal times, there aren’t such good-quality options until a title has come to the end of its traditional theatrical run, but the COVID-19 crisis has shortened windows dramatically in a bid to grow streaming services.

Following a long period of relative peace between exhibitors and studios, the National Association of Theatre Owners on July 18 blasted The Walt Disney Co. for compromising the fate of theatrical by disclosing that Black Widow collected $60 million in revenue from Disney+ Premier Access in addition to its global box office debut of nearly $159 million during the July 9-11 weekend, hence putting the worldwide start at a publicity-friendly $218 million-plus.

Insiders say theater owners were infuriated that Disney+ disclosed the revenue in what they viewed as a bid to boost headlines. The Hollywood giant hasn’t disclosed any other viewership or revenue numbers for films sent simultaneously to Disney+ Premier Access — which carries an extra price tag of $30 — and the big screen.

The NATO statement didn’t mince words, saying that the day-and-date release strategy for Black Widow undercut the tentpole’s box office potential and promoted piracy — in addition to being responsible for the movie’s “stunning collapse in its second weekend in theatrical revenues,” in addition to dropping an unprecedented 41 percent from Friday to Saturday during its opening weekend. Black Widow was the No. 1 pirated title of the July 19 week, per the news site TorrentFreak; ditto for many other previous day-and-date tentpole releases from Disney+ or HBO Max.

“Piracy clearly impacts male-driven, fanboy films. They will go out and find it for free,” says one studio executive. Yet NATO didn’t attack HBO Max even though such day-and-date titles during the pandemic era likewise have been heavily pirated. Sources noted that the WarnerMedia streamer has far less reach than Disney+ and that HBO Max has never revealed viewership numbers like Disney did.

Most event films during the pandemic era have suffered huge drop-offs in their second week, including Universal’s F9, which received an exclusive theatrical release and fell 67 percent its second weekend. The Fast & Furious installment, however, has gone on to earn nearly $600 million at the worldwide box office. The movie grossed north of $200 million in China alone, while Black Widow isn’t likely to secure a release in that country.

Disney declined to comment on the NATO statement. Insiders, however, say the company is proactive about protecting its films from pirates while also trying to come up with new ways to reach all consumers in challenging times. They also note that Black Widow grossed a pandemic-era best $80 million domestically in box office revenue in its first frame. Sources say that the studio intends to abide by an exclusive theatrical release — barring a major setback in terms of the box office recovery — for its slate of upcoming movies including 20th Century comedy Free Guy in August and Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings in early September.

Box office and Wall Street analysts agree that day-and-date release will be abandoned once the theatrical sector fully rights itself from the scourge of the pandemic. They also caution to look beyond the initial drop, noting the success of A Quiet Place Part II, which received an exclusive run in cinemas.

“The second weekend drop is only one piece of the puzzle,” says Comscore’s Paul Dergarabedian. “It’s how long a film is in theaters exclusively — and of course positive word-of-mouth and other factors — that are the key to long-term box office success.”

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New Team | Marvel Studios' Black Widow

Marvel Entertainment 21 July, 2021 - 06:00am

Kevin Feige says Yelena Belova will carry the Black Widow legacy

Iosco County News Herald 21 July, 2021 - 06:00am

Abundant sunshine. High 74F. Winds NE at 10 to 15 mph..

A few clouds. Low 53F. Winds W at 5 to 10 mph.

Yelena Belova will carry the legacy of Natasha Romanoff in upcoming Marvel movies, according to Kevin Feige.

Kevin Feige has promised Yelena Belova will carry the legacy of Natasha Romanoff in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Florence Pugh stars as Yelena alongside Scarlett Johansson in the 'Black Widow' movie, and Kevin - the President of Marvel Studios - is sure that she'll continue the character's legacy "in her own way".

Speaking on Twitter amid a 'Black Widow' watch party, Kevin wrote: "I think that Yelena like all of us will carry the memory of Natasha throughout our lives, but she'll be doing it in her own way as her own character. -KF #BlackWidowWatchParty (sic)"

Scarlett recently heaped praise on Florence, admitting she "would love" to be more like her co-star in some ways.

Discussing how their working relationship has changed them personally, Scarlett shared: "Florence is so self-possessed. I was not that self-possessed.

"I actually realized, ‘wow, I have a lot of work to do on myself,’ when I worked with Florence. She's got such a healthy ego and is in her skin. It was like, ‘this is another way to be. I've got to therapize more!’

"She really stands in her own shoes and is grounded, it was so impressive. She's not judging herself. I love that about her and I would love to be more like that."

Scarlett also previously claimed that Cate Shortland was the perfect director for the 'Black Widow' movie.

The Hollywood star explained: "She was interested in the parts of Natasha that I was interested in.

"She would probably say something like, ‘All her messy bits!’ or something like that. She loves to examine all the flaws of a character, or the perceived flaws of a character - their insecurities. And she was so interested to pull apart this woman, you know?"

This article originally ran on

The Iosco County News Herald and Oscoda Press Summer Guide for 2021

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