Why "Black Widow" Is Terrible News for AMC

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The Motley Fool 17 July, 2021 - 07:30am 9 views

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

Does Black Widow have a post credit scene?

Black Widow's post-credit scene gives us a sneak peek into what lies ahead in Yelena's story, with the surprise appearance of a character who was introduced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe recently. The Indian ExpressBlack Widow post-credits scene explained: How it sets up MCU’s new team-up

Until now, the major studios have been loath to disclose viewership numbers for movies sent to the home simultaneously because of the pandemic.

By Pamela McClintock

A day after The Walt Disney Co. announced that Marvel Studios’ Black Widow debuted to $218.8 million — including $60 million from Disney+ Premier Access and $158.8 million in global box office — the company’s stock jumped 4 percent July 12 while theater stocks dipped across the board.

Disney’s ability to boast a $200 million-plus worldwide opening, without relying solely on box office, certainly pleased investors, but traditional Hollywood studios and theater owners are less than enthusiastic about trumpeting streaming success during challenging times for moviegoing.

Until now, no traditional studio has publicly shared viewership numbers for any of the multitude of their movies that are debuting simultaneously in the home because of COVID-19 (the lone exception is Universal’s Trolls World Tour).

The Black Widow reveal could mark a paradigm shift and prompt others to share viewership data. (In this case, it equated to at least 2 million households.)

Sources say Disney is likely to announce Disney+ Premier numbers for Jungle Cruise, starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt. The event pic sets sail July 30 in theaters and, like Black Widow, simultaneously on Disney+ Premier Access for an additional $30.

Conventional wisdom suggests that Disney will revert to a traditional theatrical release for its movies this fall when the box office recovery is further along, while Warner Bros. has said it will end its current practice of debuting movies day-and-date in cinemas and on HBO Max in 2022. An ad-free HBO Max option, at $15 a month, doesn’t charge extra for new movies in a strategy to competitively grow subscribers but could disclose household numbers.

Wall Street analysts and film financiers believe that day-and-date releases cannibalize box office and diminish other ancillary revenues. Imax CEO Richard Gelfond agrees. “When other studios have analyzed the piracy rate and the cannibalization coming out of day-and-date release, they decided to go to a 45-day window,” Gelfond says. “Unless that data is very different here, I assume Disney would come to a similar conclusion.”

Adds Wall Street analyst Eric Wold of F. Riely Securities, “We are in a difficult environment right now. Kids may not be vaccinated and then there’s the Delta variant. Disney had to be flexible.” He also notes that only 2 million households paid to watch Black Widow out of Disney+’s 100 million-plus customer pool. “They haven’t shown that they have that much of a base in the home,” he says.

Yet Disney gets to keep the entire $60 million in premium video-on-demand revenue from the Black Widow‘s Disney+ debut, unlike box office receipts, which are split with cinemas.

Black Widow, starring Scarlett Johansson, was certainly no slouch at the box office and boasts the biggest domestic debut of the pandemic era at $80 million. However, many tracking the standalone superhero pic believed it would clear $90 million to $100 million based on early traffic, but those hopes were sidelined when the tentpole dropped a steep 41 percent from Friday to Saturday — unheard of for a Marvel pic. Most have declined 15 percent or less.

That could well be due to the option of being able to watch it at home, according to Screen Engine/ASI. The leading Hollywood research firm found that Black Widow cannibalized box office grosses more than other day-and-date offerings — including Disney+ Premier offerings such as Cruella — among customers who would have waited to watch it in a theater had it not been available immediately on premium video on-demand (43 percent versus a norm of 40 percent).

At the same time, Black Widow did help attract new customers (39 percent signed up to see the film, versus a norm of 16 percent), but many were like to cancel their subscription after (62 percent versus a norm of 54 percent). The good news: the Marvel offering did help stem churn and retain customers who might have otherwise ended their membership (36 percent versus a norm of 36 percent), according to Screen Engine.

Disney has indicated that pandemic-era rules are driving current decisions. “Black Widow’s strong performance this weekend affirms our flexible distribution strategy of making franchise films available in theaters for a true cinematic experience and, as COVID concerns continue globally, providing choice to consumers who prefer to watch at home on Disney+,” Kareem Daniel, chairman of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution, said in a July 11 statement.

But BoxOffice Pro analyst Shawn Robbins cautions, “As more people grow comfortable returning to cinemas, how much money is left on the table by essentially discounting a new release for families able to share one purchase across an entire household, not to mention with friends and extended family?”

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Black Widow: The 10 Best Characters, Ranked | ScreenRant

Screen Rant 17 July, 2021 - 08:00pm

In addition to mentioning several Avengers who do not actually appear on screen, such as Hawkeye and Captain America, the movie sees the return of a couple of established MCU characters as well as the introduction of several memorable new characters from Natasha's past. But which characters really worked, and who deserved to end up on the cutting room floor?

Ross' presence in the movie is an effective way to remind the audience of where the film falls on the timeline. He's a nice connection to the MCU and he makes the most of the limited screen time that he gets, but he mostly functions more like a plot device than a full character.

Taskmaster has a cool design and gets some big action sequences. However, the character does not speak and ends up being a pretty generic assassin. While the tragic backstory adds a little bit of personality, the movie, unfortunately, turns a great character from the comics into a fairly forgettable secondary bad guy.

While the audience does not get to spend more than a moment or two with any one Widow in particular, the movie does gives some detail about the women who go through the Red Room training. This information about their pasts and the conditions they were subjected to makes their liberation at the end all the more satisfying.

Valentina is a snarky, fast-talking woman who has made a strong impression in just a short amount of time. Black Widow's controversial character ending has been a subject of debate among fans, and having Valentina interrupt the mourning scene that fans had been clamoring for was a sure-fire way to ensure that audiences remember her appearance.

Dreykov is an unfeeling, cold villain who shows no remorse about using people for his own gain. The movie does not really reveal his backstory or give him any deeper motivations than greed and lust for power. While he may not be the most well-rounded character, he is certainly dark and intimidating.

Mason does not have a large role in the film, but he is a charming and good-natured supporting character. He is funny and kind, even potentially hints at romantic feelings for Natasha.

Melina is a brilliant mind, achieving great scientific success, but for an evil purpose. She is also revealed to have a sentimental side, as Natasha discovers that she kept their family photo album. Melina's caring nature and maternal instincts eventually win out as she turns on Dreykov and helps Natasha take him down.

Natasha Romanoff is an incredibly skilled spy and physical combatant, easily eluding Thaddeus Ross and his men. But the movie really highlights her heart as the thing that makes her special. Despite all of the pain and hardship she has endured and been forced to dole out on others, she is able to retain her humanity and be a loving and kind person.

Alexei views himself as the Soviet equivalent to Captain America, fabricating stories about their battles against one another. He has incredible physical strength and demonstrates genuine care for his fake family. He is loud and overconfident, frequently saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. He is arguably the funniest character in the movie, often ending up as the butt of the joke.

Yelena is the clear standout of Black Widow. She is funny, dishing out one-liners and going on rants about the pockets in her vest, accounting for most of the best quotes in Black Widow. She is also an excellent fighter who is able to fight Natasha to a draw. Yelena's arc in the film is about breaking free from Dreykov's control and becoming her own person. She is a tremendous new character and the after-credits scene sets her up to take Natasha's place in the MCU moving forward.

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