“Black Widow,” the Disney and Marvel standalone superhero adventure starring Scarlett Johansson, launched internationally on Wednesday and collected $4.9 million in ticket sales from 11 overseas markets.
The comic book adaptation, the first Marvel movie to grace cinemas in two years, had the strongest start in the United Kingdom, where it generated $1.7 million on its first day of release. It had an equally promising showing in France with $1.6 million on Wednesday. “Black Widow” also opened in Italy ($700,000), the Netherlands ($300,000) and Sweden ($300,000).
“Black Widow” will continue to roll out this weekend in 46 foreign territories and is expected to generate $50 million at the international box office. The tentpole is projected to amass another $75 million to $85 million domestically over its opening weekend. In China, a critical moviegoing market for the Marvel franchise, “Black Widow” doesn’t have a release date.
Directed by Cate Shortland (“Berlin Syndrome”), “Black Widow” is the first Marvel movie to debut theatrically since 2019’s “Spider-Man: Far From Home.” Movie industry analysts anticipate that pent-up demand for comic book fare will ignite a COVID-era opening weekend record at the domestic box office. For now, Universal’s “Fast & Furious” sequel “F9” holds the biggest debut for a movie released during the pandemic with $70 million. Unlike “F9,” the standalone spy thriller that takes place between the events of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and “Avengers: Infinity War” won’t be playing exclusively in theaters. It’ll also be available to rent on Disney Plus for $30. That will likely suppress overall ticket sales.
Box office receipts will also be curbed because movie theaters haven’t fully reopened as the globe recovers from the pandemic. As of this weekend, approximately 17% of international territories, including parts of Southeast Asia and Latin America, have shuttered multiplexes to help curb the spread of new variants of COVID-19. In North America, 20% of locations are closed, many of which are in Canada.
In “Black Widow,” set before Natasha Romanoff (Johansson) became an Avenger, the skilled Russian spy is forced to confront the darker parts of her past when she’s faced with dangerous conspiracy. The cast also includes Florence Pugh, David Harbour and Rachel Weisz.