Fans eagerly awaited the return of Marvel Cinematic Universe films this weekend, propelling BLACK WIDOW to the top of the box office with an expected opening weekend of $80 million!
The action-thriller, which delves into Scarlett Johansson’s espionage expert’s past and her spy “family,” outperformed F9: THE FAST SAGA’s recent $70 million debut and became the highest domestic opener since STAR WARS – EPISODE IX: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER in December 2019.
The prequel/sequel (which takes place primarily between the events of CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR and AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR) also brought in $78 million from international audiences, bringing the total weekend gross to $158 million.
Disney also reported that the film, which was simultaneously released on the Disney+ streaming service for an additional $30 Premier Access charge, produced more than $60 million on that platform, giving it a total global opening of $215 million.
The $80 million domestic debut places BLACK WIDOW in the same league as ANT MAN AND THE WASP ($75.8 million) and DOCTOR STRANGE ($85 million), all of which were clearly released under better conditions. Adding the Disney+ dollars moves it over THOR: RAGNAROK ($122 million) and closer to GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2’s $146 million debuts.
BLACK WIDOW was supposed to be released in May 2020 to kick off the summer movie season, but it was postponed along with everything else due to the pandemic. Following the post-ENDGAME release of SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME on July 2, 2019, this is the first theatrical MCU entry in almost two years.
The new PG-13 Disney picture, directed by Cate Shortland (BERLIN SYNDROME), cost a whopping $200 million and stars Florence Pugh, David Harbour, Rachel Weisz, and Ray Winstone.
The reintroduction of the MCU and the (late) attention on Johansson’s character piqued the interest of critics, who gave the film an 80 percent Rotten Tomatoes rating and a Metacritic score of 68.
The PG-13 sequel F9: THE FAST SAGA slipped to second place with $10.8 million in its third weekend in American theatres after two weekends at the top.
On a rumored $200 million budget, Universal’s eighth film in the FAST & FURIOUS franchise (counting the HOBBS & SHAW offshoot) has grossed $141.3 million domestically and $541 million globally.
The animated DreamWorks sequel THE BOSS BABY: FAMILY BUSINESS came in third place with $8.7 million, down 46 percent from its opening weekend. On a reported $82 million budget, the PG-rated Universal film (also available on Peacock) has a ten-day domestic total of $34.7 million.
THE FOREVER PURGE, an R-rated sequel, came in fourth place with $6.7 million, down 47% from its first weekend (a relatively decent hold for a horror movie). Universal’s $18 million murder-holiday thrillers had a domestic ten-day total of $27.4 million and a worldwide total of $34.8 million.
A QUIET PLACE: PART II, a PG-13 sci-fi thriller, came in fifth place with $3 million. The Paramount horror sequel has a domestic total of $150.6 million and a worldwide total of $263 million after seven weeks, on a reported $61 million budget.
CRUELLA, a Disney prequel, came in sixth place with $2.2 million in its seventh weekend in theatres (and for a $30 fee on Disney+). The PG-13 film, which stars Emma Stone as the title villain, has grossed $80.7 million domestically and $216.8 million internationally.
The action-comedy THE HITMAN’S WIFE’S BODYGUARD came in seventh place with $1.6 million in its fourth weekend. On an estimated budget of $70 million, Lionsgate’s R-rated sequel starring Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, and Salma Hayek had a domestic total of $35 million and a worldwide total of $56 million.
PETER RABBIT 2: THE RUNAWAY, a PG-rated sequel, came in eighth place with $1.25 million in its fifth domestic weekend. Sony’s $45 million live-action/animated comedy has grossed $37.7 million in the United States and $139 million worldwide.
IN THE HEIGHTS, a Lin-Manuel Miranda musical came in ninth place with $630,000 after its fifth weekend in cinemas. On a projected budget of $55 million, the PG-13 Warner Bros. drama (which exits HBO Max this week) has a domestic total of $28.3 million and a worldwide total of $39 million.
The R-rated road-trip drama ZOLA rounded out the top five with $620,000 in its second weekend. The film, which was born on Twitter, has grossed $3.5 million in the United States.
Outside of the Top 10, supernatural sequel THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT was snubbed, with $63 million domestically and $183 million worldwide.
The biopic ROADRUNNER: A FILM ABOUT ANTHONY BOURDAIN, the horror sequel ESCAPE ROOM: TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS, the sequel SPACE JAM: A NEW LEGACY (also available on HBO Max), and the Nicolas Cage truffle hunting thriller PIG are all available this weekend.
What is your favorite movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe?