'Black Widow' spins new Covid-era box office record

·2-min read
Scarlett Johansson, pictured April 2019, stars in "Black Widow," a Disney/Marvel film that set a Covid-era record in its July 2021 opening weekend

New Disney superhero film "Black Widow" took just over $80 million in North American theaters this weekend -- a pandemic-era record that highlights the continuing lure of the Marvel Cinematic Universe -- industry watcher Exhibitor Relations reported Monday.

The movie, starring Scarlett Johansson as the Russian former superspy, took $80.4 million at the domestic box office between Friday and Sunday.

With an additional $60 million-plus from streaming on Disney Plus (at $29.99 for subscribers), and $78 million in international theaters, the long-awaited Marvel spin-off has landed an impressive global total of more than $218 million so far.

Hollywood Reporter called it "unprecedented" for a studio to announce its streaming total on a film's opening weekend.

The film has not yet been granted a release date in China, where Beijing is seeking to boost domestic summer blockbusters.

Far behind "Black Widow" in second place was Universal's action thriller "F9: The Fast Saga," at $11.4 million, down by roughly half from last weekend's take.

It had held the previous pandemic-era record with a $70 million opening. Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez and John Cena star in this ninth installment in the "Fast and Furious" franchise.

Universal also claimed the next two box-office spots.

In third was its animated sequel "The Boss Baby: Family Business," at $8.9 million. The yarn about a cannily can-do "boss baby" features the voices of Alec Baldwin, Eva Longoria, Jeff Goldblum and Lisa Kudrow.

Horror film "The Forever Purge" placed fourth, at $7.1 million. This latest in the "Purge" series is again set in a dystopian near-future where all crime, even murder, is made legal one day a year. Ana de la Reguera and Tenoch Huerta star.

And in fifth was Paramount's "A Quiet Place: Part II," at $3.2 million, pushing its domestic total near $150 million in its seventh week. John Krasinski directed the horror flick; his wife Emily Blunt stars.

This weekend marked the first time since Covid-19 struck that the domestic box office has surpassed $100 million. The top 12 films combined hit $118.8 million, around 20 percent higher than last weekend.

Rounding out the top 10 were:

"Cruella" ($2.4 million)

"The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard" ($1.6 million)

"Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway" ($1.3 million)

"The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It" ($655,000)

"In the Heights" ($620,000)


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