No movie has opened to over $50 million at the domestic box office since Sonic the Hedgehog was released over sixteen months ago, although A Quiet Place Part II did come agonizingly close with a $48 million debut. Of course, that’s inevitably going to change when Fast & Furious 9 arrives this coming Friday, and two weeks after that Black Widow is guaranteed to follow suit.
The first feature-length installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for two whole years may be landing on Disney Plus Premier Access the same day it hits theaters, but the biggest franchise in the history of cinema is still more than capable of drawing audiences back to their local multiplex in huge numbers.
The latest tracking indicates that Scarlett Johansson’s long-awaited solo outing will open somewhere between $65 million and $90 million, but most analysts are expecting it to end up landing closer to the higher end of those estimates. Worst case scenario it’ll become the third lowest-grossing opener in MCU history, with The Incredible Hulk and Ant-Man the only two of the franchise’s movies to ever earn less than $60 million across their first three days, but don’t discount Black Widow from flying much higher, despite the theatrical industry still operating at less than maximum capacity.
A hybrid release is definitely going to have an impact when you consider that Mulan and Raya and the Last Dragon both struggled theatrically, but fans will be glad enough that they’re getting to see Cate Shortland’s prequel, regardless of how they choose to watch it. After all, Black Widow has been a decade in the making before you even factor in the fourteen-month delay, so hype and expectation isn’t something the studio should be worried about.