In addition to Scarlett Johansson, who reprises the role of Black Widow, the action feature stars Florence Pugh, David Harbour and Rachel Weisz. Cate Shortland directed, Kevin Feige produced and Eric Pearson penned the screenplay. The film unravels the mystery of Natasha Romanoff’s past and her path to becoming the spy and assassin she is today.
“Black Widow” opened on July 9 after several postponements and was the first movie from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to open in theaters in two years. It was also available via Premier Access, allowing subscribers to rent the film for $30. Though the film grossed $80 million in theaters in its opening weekend, the number fell short of pre-pandemic Marvel standards. In addition, Disney revealed that “Black Widow” had grossed more than $125 million on streaming.
The announcement of its availability for streaming to all subscribers follows the news that Scarlett Johansson and Disney had reached a settlement over Johansson’s blockbuster lawsuit, accusing the studio of sabotaging the theatrical release of the film through its availability for purchase on Disney Plus, though the terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
The conflict over “Black Widow” marked a new beginning for Disney’s blockbuster releases and streaming plans. “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” premiered on Sept. 3 in theaters; the Marvel film will land on Disney Plus on Nov. 12 for no extra charge, 70 days after the theatrical release. Meanwhile, Disney’s “Free Guy” had a 45-day exclusive theatrical window before becoming available for purchase on digital video. Both films demonstrated the holding power and potential success of theatrical-only releases as “Shang-Chi” became the first pandemic-era release to cross $200 million domestically while “Free Guy” held the No. 1 spot at the domestic box office for the first two weeks after its initial release.