Disney’s (DIS) long-delayed “Black Widow” took in $80 million in domestic box office receipts in its opening weekend. Disney stock rose Friday.
The Marvel movie, which premiered 15 months later than initial plans, was expected to rake in $80 million-$100 million at around 4,000 theaters in the U.S., according to Boxoffice Magazine.
While the actual amount came in at the low end, it topped the $70 million premiere for “F9,” which Comcast‘s (CMCSA) Universal distributed. F9 opened in June.
Combined with international box office receipts of $78 million, “Black Widow” exceeded worldwide estimates that were as high as $140 million, according to Deadline. That doesn’t include China, Marvel’s biggest market, as it doesn’t yet have a release date there.
And for the first time, Disney disclosed the amount of money a new release generated from Disney+ Premier Access, which cost subscriber an extra one-time fee of $29.99.
“Black Widow” took in $60 million from streaming sales in Disney’s first big test of its strategy to release blockbuster movies at theaters and on its streaming service at the same time.
Theater owners have criticized the move, saying it would cannibalize box office sales. But Disney CEO Bob Chapek defended the plan at a JPMorgan conference on global technology in May.
“We realized that we had to sort of prime the pump and give theatrical exhibition a chance but we couldn’t put all our eggs in the theatrical exhibition basket because we knew that in the weeks leading up to the decision, the domestic market was not coming back and it’s still fairly weak,” he said.
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Shares rose 2.45% to close at 177.04 on the stock market Friday. Disney stock is now back above its 50-day line, according to MarketSmith chart analysis.
Streaming rival Netflix (NFLX) rose 1%. AMC Entertainment (AMC), whose theaters will benefit from having blockbusters like “Black Widow” return to the big screen, fell 3.65%.
Comcast stock edged down 0.3%.
Follow Adelia Cellini Linecker on Twitter @IBD_Adelia.
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