Movie Theater Owners Blame Marvels Black Widow Box Office Collapse on Disney Plus Launch

Movie theater operators did not mince words in asserting that Disney left money on the table by putting Marvel’s “Black Widow” on Disney Plus on the same day as its theatrical debut. Disney announced in March that “Black Widow,” among several of its 2021 films, would premiere simultaneously on the studio’s subscription-based streaming service — […]

I’m not sure how much I believe that it’s actually Disney Plus’s fault that people aren’t going to the theaters in massive waves of audience participation, after as we are still battling Covid-19, and in my neck of the woods the Delta variant has taken the lead and our hospitals are at an all time high for capacity, with emergency overflow wings being opened back up. I can’t imagine there’s many people that look at that situation and think “yeah, it’d be smart to go sit in a giant room with 500 other people and breath in what they’re breathing out”.

I mean, I know what those people do for well established social norms at a theater with their talking and walking around during the film, I can only speculate what they’re like out in the rest of the world.



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    Yes, blame D+ now move theaters, not your own mismanagement prior to the pandemic. AMC gave their CEO a multimillion dollar pay raise in 2020 from nearly 10 million to nearly 21 million. And don’t blame Warner Bros. who are dumping everything on HBOMax where you don’t have to even pay extra. Yes, single out this one corporation for your failure.

    And you do bring up a good point that some folks are still choosing to stay home from the theaters because Covid-19 is still a thing. It’s why we saw Black Widow at home because someone in our household can’t be vaccinated yet. Covid-19 is why we didn’t go see Pig yet either. Going to see a movie in a theater can wait. Without the option to watch Black Widow at home, we simply would have just waited to watch it until we could.

    This whole thing would have been over a year ago if people just stayed home and wore a mask when they had to be out.

    tiki god

    I don’t understand what your first paragraph has to do with this though, AMC’s internal pay scale has nothing to do with Black Widow’s sharp decline in performance, at least I don’t see how it could.

    I am somewhat interested in seeing how BW did compared to something like F9, which to my knowledge didn’t have a digital release like the HBO/Disney movies have done.


    The movie theaters are scrambling for scapegoats for their failing business model. They’re blaming D+ here for the fall off without consideration for all factors which should include D+, Covid-19 resurgence, the decline in the theater experience whether perceived or real, this movie has been delayed and delayed and delayed, maybe word of mouth that the movie wasn’t that great (I thought it was fine). Movie theaters are blaming the falloff strictly on D+ and it’s not just that.

    IMDB reporting puts the current box office totals for Black Widow at $134,610,581 gross for U.S. and Canada and Fast9 at $155,859,450 gross for U.S. and Canada. BW had a better opening weekend by about $10 million. If you add in (and believe) the $60 million dollar total Disney reported for D+ than BW has made more.

    tiki god

    >The movie theaters are scrambling for scapegoats for their failing business model

    Except AMC is doing just fine and getting better every day from everything I can see. Your second point is unrelated to the movie theaters and I think has more to do with the situation really. For this movie to have done well it needed to come out in close proximity to EndGame, but alas…


    According to the article I don’t think theaters in general are doing fine, “The pushback from NATO comes at a time when the movie business is still struggling to recover from the pandemic.” The article itself mentions the pandemic but NATO does not seem to address it. NATO is trying to save their ass by blaming D+, their own quotes in the article are quite clear on that.

    I also mentioned the multiple delays of the movie. I fail to see how me calling out factors that may be why people aren’t going to the theaters is somehow unrelated to the movie theaters. What are you driving at there? From the article it seems that NATO are ignoring all the other possible factors and focusing on the day and date idea and also linking it to increased piracy. I wonder what piracy numbers looked like for some of the other more recent Marvel movies the week of release. If they were similar than that argument is moot. Not sure if that’s something that could be easily found though. Maybe I’ll look into it in the morning.

    NATO’s closing quote though is pretty short sighted, “The many questions raised by Disney’s limited release of streaming data opening weekend are being rapidly answered by ‘Black Widow’s’ disappointing and anomalous performance,” NATO said. “The most important answer is that simultaneous release is a pandemic-era artifact that should be left to history with the pandemic itself.” We’ll see if this actually plays out. I think we’ll be dealing with the pandemic for a lot longer than we all think. And the longer it goes on, the more the public will demand shorter theatrical windows or the day and date thing.

    I definitely think the movie being “fine” is also a contributing factor that NATO is ignoring. It’s no Thor: The Dark World, but it’s no Winter Soldier either. It’s a prequel, we know it can’t really advance the next phase of the overall universe because of that. The little stinger at the end more sets up a D+ show than it does another movie. Hell, it looks like Loki may have set up more for the future of the films than Black Widow did.

    Let’s see how the rest of these do this year and see how our disagreements play out, yeah?

    tiki god

    great idea, I’m surprised that they’re saying the pandemic is “left in the history”, it’s still raging in most of the world, along with the US


    Could also be because the movie is just okay…

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