One of the inevitable side effects to come with the increased competition in the streaming wars is a significant uptick in piracy, and anyone who says otherwise is kidding themselves. After all, there aren’t a lot of people out there either willing or financially able to shell out for multiple platforms on a monthly basis, with the data showing that the average household subscribes to two services.
When you consider the likes of Netflix, Amazon, Disney Plus, Hulu, HBO Max, Paramount+, Peacock and more are dropping some major exclusive titles on a regular basis, it’s not difficult to do the math. With that in mind, it shouldn’t come as a shock to discover that the first feature film to come from the most popular franchise on the planet in two years has seen Black Widow become the most heavily pirated movie of the pandemic era.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe prequel may have opened to over $150 million at the global box office in its first weekend, and brought in an additional $60 million via Disney Plus Premier Access Sales, but it’s since suffered the biggest week-to-week theatrical drop in the superhero saga’s thirteen-year history spanning 24 big screen installments, and the National Association of Theater Owners directly blamed piracy as one of the driving forces behind the massive dip, as well as the Mouse House opting for a hybrid release.
It’ll be interesting to see what sort of commercial legs Black Widow has, with streaming and now piracy severely hampering the film’s chances of maximizing its commercial potential. It’ll still turn a profit without a doubt, but any digital release will always leave itself wide open to widespread torrenting.