A few weeks ago, F9 opened to $70 million in its first weekend, more than any movie had made since Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker, and Vin Diesel understandably took it as a very clear indicator that movie theaters are going to bounce back from COVID-19 and that holding F9 from getting dumped onto a streaming platform was the right move. It was hard to argue with that point, because it made more money than Godzilla Vs. Kong, for example, and we have no idea how much money, say, The Tomorrow War brought in for Amazon, but now Mickey Mouse has barged into the room to scream “Disney also made a lot of money! Pay attention to me!” while waving his little hands. And yes, fine, Disney also just made a lot of money, but you’ll have to take Disney’s word for it.
The official box office receipts aren’t in yet, but Disney put out a press release this morning saying Black Widow made $80 million domestic and $78 million internationally this weekend, which is conveniently just higher than F9 and therefore just enough to give Black Widow the highest opening weekend since Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker (which is also a Disney movie, allowing Disney to say “we made two movies that made a lot of money”). But we’re not going to dwell on that here, because these numbers come straight from Disney and therefore might not mean anything, but one thing that is genuinely interesting from Disney’s press release is that Black Widow apparently made $60 million from Disney+’s pricey Premier Access tier alone.
Mickey and his pals haven’t been regularly releasing any kind of viewership data for Disney+’s Premier Access rentals (Mulan, Raya And The Last Dragon, and Cruella), which cost $30 on top of an existing Disney+ subscription, meaning one could theoretically jump to the conclusion that they haven’t been doing super well until now—or at least that Disney didn’t feel the need to brag about the numbers. Disney evidently found this $60 million haul to be brag-worthy, though, and thanks to some easy math, we can figure that it means about 2 million Disney+ accounts shelled out for the Black Widow rental this weekend. The other interesting thing about this is that Disney has now set a precedent for announcing how much money these Premier Access movies make, so if it doesn’t do it for Jungle Cruise at the end of this month, we’ll know it did not make good money… unless it makes a ton of money at the physical box office, and then Disney can be like “look, we were right to also release it in theaters” as if Vin Diesel hadn’t already saved the movies.