Black Widow spins new Covid-era box office record

Actress Scarlett Johansson stars as the cat-suited superspy in Black Widow. PHOTO: THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - New Disney superhero film Black Widow took in an estimated US$80 million (S$108 million) in North America this three-day weekend, a pandemic-era record as the Marvel Universe showed continuing lure, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations reported on Sunday (July 11).

The movie, starring Scarlett Johansson as the cat-suited superspy, took in an additional US$60 million streaming on Disney Plus (at US$29.99 for subscribers) and US$78 million internationally, for an impressive global total of US$218 million.

Hollywood Reporter called it "unprecedented" for a studio to announce its streaming total on a film's opening weekend. The film has yet to open in China.

Far behind in second place was Universal's action thriller F9: The Fast Saga, at US$10.9 million, down by more than half from last weekend's take.

It had held the previous pandemic-era record with a US$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 US$8.7 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 US$6.7 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 US$3 million, pushing its domestic total near US$150 million in its seventh week. John Krasinski directed the horror flic; his wife Emily Blunt stars.

This weekend marked the first time since Covid-19 struck that the United States box office has surpassed US$100 million. It hit US$116.8 million, 20 per cent higher than last weekend.

Rounding out the top 10 were Cruella (US$2.2 million), The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard (US$1.6 million), Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway (US$1.3 million), In The Heights (US$630,000) and Zola (US$620,000).

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