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‘Black Widow’ Adds More Platforms — and More Revenue — While ‘Pig’ Stays Strong

Meantime Netflix, with "Beckett" and "The Kissing Booth 3" leading the way, continues to present wider variety than theater studio releases.

Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) in Marvel Studios' BLACK WIDOW, in theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access. Photo by Jay Maidment. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Scarlett Johansson in “Black Widow”


However Disney ends up dividing the bounty from Marvel’s “Black Widow,” it is now adding to the haul with added revenue sources. After a month of exclusive Premium VOD availability through Disney+, all other platforms, like Roku and Amazon, are offering the year’s highest grossing film in theaters for the same $29.99, but without needing to subscribe to the streamer.

The vagaries of talent contracts, and how their payouts are related to reaching profit (a likely far-off point for the multi-hundred million dollar effort), remain unclear. But what is known is that along with its strong theatrical response (though low for a Marvel title, with its concurrent PVOD release, Covid impact, and a seemingly mixed response from audiences to the film), the money it is earning is increasing.

“Black Widow” is #1 on iTunes (usually quickest to respond to new releases) and currently #3 at Google Play. Both these rank by the number of transactions, not the revenue accrued. It is also #1 at Vudu, which charts by how much money was paid to view. At $29.99 for each purchase (unlike many PVOD titles, it initially can be digitally bought; that places customer possession similar to Disney+, where it will stay in their library), the studio retains 80 percent of the amount paid. We don’t have any estimate of the volume of business, but assume this is providing a healthy return.

At least we have some sense of performance. The other major addition among theater-concurrent releases at home this week is “CODA” on Apple. The record Sundance seller ($25 million to the streamer) and top prize winner this year debuted on their site on Friday, along with a few dozen specialized theaters (with unreported but minimal response from theaters checked).

No word yet on viewings there, or increased sign-ups to the site. But social media chatter — hardly the perfect barometer, but the best we have — about this weekend’s programming centered around, say, the “White Lotus” finale on HBO Sunday night far more than it did on “CODA.”




The week’s streaming results were otherwise mostly a rehash of recent weeks. Only 14 films total placed on the three charts, a record low, with seven (half) of them making all three. “F9” (Universal/$19.99) placed second on all three. “A Quiet Place Part II” (Paramount/$4.99), with its quick turn to a lower price, is #1 at Google Play, #3 at iTunes, and #4 at Vudu.

Pig” (Neon/$6.99) continues to place well among far more mainstream titles, as high as #4 at iTunes. Also joining it on all charts are “Wrath of Man” (United Artists/$5.99), “Nobody” (Universal/$5.99), and “The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” (Lionsgate/$19.99).

The sole other new release, also PVOD, is Mark Wahlberg’s “Joe Bell” (Roadside Attractions/$19.99). Its higher price helped it reach #6 at Vudu.


Netflix continues to roll out a much wider variety of films than you can find in theaters (with at least as much variance in quality), and its new originals again immediately got a response. “Beckett,” with John David Washington as an imperiled American tourist in Greece, with Luca Guadagnino as a producer, also featuring Alicia Vikander, jumped to #1 there. It displaced “The Kissing Booth 3,” one of the platform’s few film franchises after its midweek release.

Of note is “Misha and the Wolves” at #9. Netflix acquired the documentary about controversy over a Holocaust survivor’s narrative prior to Sundance. It then won the World Documentary jury top prize. Its theatrical play (if any), needed for awards qualification, is unclear.

iTunes and Google Play rank films daily by number of transactions, irrespective of revenue accrued. These are the listings for Monday, August 16. Distributors listed are current rights owners.


1. Black Widow (Disney) – $29.99

2. F9 (Universal) – $19.99

3. A Quiet Place Part II (Paramount) – $4.99

4. Pig (Neon) – $5.99

5. Wrath of Man (United Artists) – $5.99

6. Chaos Walking (Lionsgate) – $0.99

7. Nobody (Universal) – $5.99

8. The History of the World, Part 1 (Disney) – $3.99

9. The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (Lionsgate) – $19.99

10. Field of Dreams (Universal) – $3.99

Google Play

1. A Quiet Place Part II (Paramount) – $4.99

2. F9 (Universal) – $19.99

3. Black Widow (Disney) – $29.99

4. Wrath of Man (United Artists) – $5.99

5. The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (Lionsgate) – $19.99

6. Mortal Kombat (Warner Bros.) – $5.99

7. Godzilla vs. Kong (Warner Bros.) – $5.99

8. Pig (Neon) – $6.99

9. Nobody (Universal) – $5.99

10. The Forever Purge (Universal) – $19.99


Vudu ranks by revenue earned, not transactions, which elevates Premium VOD titles. This list covers August 9-15

1. Black Widow (Disney) – $29.99

2. F9 (Universal) – $19.99

3. The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (Lionsgate) – $19.99

4. A Quiet Place Part II (Paramount) – $4.99

5. Mortal Kombat (Warner Bros.) – $5.99

6. Joe Bell (Roadside Attractions) – $19.99

7. The Forever Purge (Universal) – $19.99

8. Nobody (Universal) – $5.99

9. Wrath of Man (United Artists) – $5.99

10. Pig (Neon) – $6.99

Netflix Movies

Most viewed, current ranking as of Monday, August 16; originals include both Netflix-produced and Netflix-acquired titles they initially presented in the U.S.

1. Beckett (2021 Netflix original)

2. The Kissing Booth 3 (2021 Netflix original)

3. Vivo (2021 animated Netflix original)

4. Major Payne (1995 theatrical release)

5. The Vault (2021 VOD release)

6. Aftermath (2021 Netflix original)

7. Resort to Love (2021 Netflix original)

8. The Losers (2010 theatrical release)

9. Misha and the Wolves (2021 Netflix documentary original)

10. The Net (1995 theatrical release)

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