Last weekend, Disney made a big announcement regarding Marvel Studios “Black Widow” pulling in over $200 million dollars globally, including over $60 via Disney+ Premier Access.
Now the second-weekend box office numbers have been revealed, showing “Black Widow” pulling in just $26.25 million at the US box office, dropping 67%, which is the steepest second-weekend drop for an MCU movie since “Ant-Man and the Wasp” dropped 62%.
Some analysts are blaming the release of the film on Disney+ Premier Access as the reason the film didn’t do well in the second weekend.
With the National Association of Theatre Owners, who are the industry’s main lobbying arm, released a statement saying:
Despite assertions that this pandemic-era improvised release strategy was a success for Disney and the simultaneous release model, it demonstrates that an exclusive theatrical release means more revenue for all stakeholders in every cycle of the movie’s life.
While the big drop in second-weekend box office numbers isn’t good for Disney, it shows that while theatre chains and movie studios are trying to will the cinema business back to normal. Things haven’t gone back to normal yet. Some places still have restrictions in place and there is a general feeling of some audiences not feeling safe to return to crowded areas like cinemas. Especially with a rise in variants and cases. The audience has also become more used to watching films from home and might not have ventured to the theatres to watch “Black Widow” anyway, so Disney+ Premier Access is helping fill that void.
One of this years biggest films, “Fast and the Furious 9” also tumbled over 67% at the box office in the second weekend. With most films released in the pandemic, suffering from large drops in the second weekend and beyond. Showing that while many movie fans are happy to go to the cinema in the opening weekend, often because they want to be the first to see it, join in with the experience and also avoid spoilers, but there isn’t enough people wanting to go see it after the hype has dropped down.
However, having major titles available on streaming services like HBO Max or on Disney+ Premier Access, does mean it’s much easier for piracy, resulting in much higher quality copies of the film being available easier.
Ultimately, for theatres chains, it’s a no-brainer for them to blame Disney+ Premier Access, streaming services and PVOD for the lack of second-weekend box office takings. These platforms are direct competition to their business and obviously, don’t want consumers having a choice in how they watch movies, because it hurts their own businesses. Cinema chains want everything to go back to how it used to be, pre-pandemic. When in reality, things have changed, consumer habits have adapted, and some people don’t want to go back to theatres for a multiple number of reasons. Not all connected to the pandemic.
So far, Disney has released four films on Disney+ Premier Access, with “Jungle Cruise”, set to follow suit later this month. Disney will have its own data to decide if Premier Access will continue, regardless of theatre chains try to damage the idea of Disney+ Premier Access to protect their own interests.
What do you think of Disney+ Premier Access?
Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom.