Black Widow has finally arrived in theaters, and early figures suggest Disney was right to hang on as long as they did. The latest from Marvel Studios set a record pandemic $ 13.2 million in previews Thursday night. That means Scarlett Johansson’s first solo film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is on track for a massive opening weekend total, which is what the movie industry needs right now.

F9 , aka Fast & Furious 9 , notched the previous box office record for Thursday previews in the pandemic era a few weeks ago, totaling $ 7.1 million, en route to a week -end opening of $ 70 million. Prior to that, A Quiet Place Part II set the bar with $ 4.8 million. But the MCU is the biggest franchise out there, and it’s been a full two years since Spider-Man: Far From Home hit theaters. Fans are eager to return to this universe, as evidenced by Thursday’s post. Before the record-breaking preview night, Black Widowhad followed an opening weekend between $ 80 million and $ 90 million. The film now has a real chance of breaking the $ 100 million mark nationally on Monday morning, if all goes well. It would be the first movie to accomplish this feat since Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in December 2019.

Ahead of its release, Fandango reported that Black Widow was its best-selling film, in terms of pre-sales, all year. It was even ahead of Doctor Strange and Spider-Man: Homecoming . For the sake of comparison, Doctor Strange raked in $ 9.4 million in previews in 2016 en route to an $ 85 million opening weekend. Spider-Man: Homecoming , meanwhile, raked in $ 15.4 million in previews, with a whopping $ 117 million total for opening weekend. This bodes well for Black Widow , although the situation is admittedly quite different.

First off, every other MCU movie so far was originally released exclusively in theaters. This is not the case with Black Widow . Director Cate Shortland’s solo adventure for Natasha Romanoff is also available on Disney + via Premier Access. This is a form of premium VOD that allows subscribers to watch the movie from home right now for an additional € 30. It remains to be seen how that will reduce the film’s overall box office potential this weekend. It’s certainly conceivable that Thursday night was loaded up front with particularly enthusiastic fans. Things can fade away as the weekend progresses. But it is anything but certain that Black Widow will slip away F9$ 70 million opening weekend to set a new record in 2021.

Scarlett Johansson has been with the MCU since the 2010s Iron Man 2 . While fans have long lobbied for her to get a solo movie, it eventually happened and was destined to kick off the slate of Marvel’s Phase 4. But the film has been delayed several times, originally scheduled for May 2020. This year, three MCU films will debut in theaters with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Eternals and Spider-Man: No Way Back. house all the way. And these three films are expected to have exclusive theatrical broadcasts. Black Widow is in theaters now. This news has already been reported by Variety.

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