Disney/Marvel’s ‘Black Widow’ Arrives Early on Digital Aug. 10 and 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray Disc/DVD Sept. 14

Disney-owned Marvel Studios July 26 announced that superhero theatrical/PVOD hit Black Widow is arriving early on all major digital platforms on Aug. 10 and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray Disc and DVD on Sept. 14.

The movie, starring Scarlett Johansson, generated $322 million at the global box office, including $155 million domestically.  It also generated more than $60 million in Premier Access revenue to subscribers on Disney+. The retail release will be available in Ultra HD and immersive Dolby Atmos audio, along with never-before-seen bonus footage, including nine deleted scenes, bloopers and featurettes.

In the action-packed spy thriller, Natasha Romanoff – aka Black Widow – confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises. Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, Natasha must deal with her history as a spy and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger.

Along with Johansson, Florence Pugh stars as Yelena, David Harbour portrays Alexei/The Red Guardian and Rachel Weisz is Melina. “Black Widow” – the first film in Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – is directed by Cate Shortland and produced by Kevin Feige.

Marvel Studios’ “Black Widow” Bonus Features

  • Bloopers – Take a look at some of the fun mishaps on set with the cast and crew of “Black Widow.”
  • Deleted Scenes
    • Grocery Shopping – Natasha heads into a grocery store to prepare for her journey through Norway. After a long drive, she arrives at her destination: a mysterious trailer in the middle of nowhere.
    • Bike Chase – Tailed by assailants, Natasha and Yelena speed through the city in order to escape their nemeses.
    • Gulag Fight – Alexei squares up against several enemies and is quickly overpowered. When all hope seems lost, Natasha leaps in to lend a hand in the fight.
    • Smile – The Taskmaster protocol is activated in a tense moment, and an iconic helmet is unveiled.
    • Come After Me – Secretary Ross and Mason discover an important message Natasha left behind.
    • Walk and Talk – Alexei and Melina have a playful exchange. The Taskmaster arrives and faces off with Alexei.
    • Widows in Training – Yelena and Alexei awaken in captivity. Melina hands the Taskmaster vials while the Widows train.
    • Kiss – Alexei and Melina reunite after the action. Natasha grieves over an untimely demise in the brutal aftermath.
    • Ohio – Natasha witnesses the carefree nature of the Ohio suburbs through the neighborhood children.
  • Filmmaker Introduction Featurette – Director Cate Shortland introduces the film and her vision for it.
  • Sisters Gonna Work It Out Featurette – Watch Scarlett and Florence as they train, fight, and bond to become the sister duo in “Black Widow.” Listen as the cast and crew discuss the characters, rigorous training, and building the dynamic between the two fearsome siblings.
  • Go Big If You’re Going Home Featurette – Step back to appreciate the size and scale of “Black Widow”’s solo film. Shot around the world, the film balances family and drama with mind-blowing action. The cast and crew reveal the intricacies of stunts that made the film so action-packed.

Marvel Cinematic Universe Eyes Return to Box Office Supremacy With ‘Black Widow’ Debut

NEWS ANALYSIS — Disney/Marvel Studios’ oft-delayed superheroine movie Black Widow, staring Scarlett Johansson, July 9 makes its U.S. box office debut — the first time a Marvel title has bowed theatrically in more than two years.

Indeed Disney ended 2019 with a record $11.1 billion global box office, including 33% of the combined domestic theatrical revenue largely due to Marvel movies.

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Black Widow is reportedly projected to generate around $80 million in revenue, starting with the July 8 sneak peak of showings ($13.2 million) across 4,160 screens. It generated close to $22.4 million in international ticket sales entering July 8. Black Widow is also available for $29.99 purchase to Disney+ U.S. subscribers.

Data from Diesel Labs contends Widow has a lot of consumer momentum thanks to the release of three original Marvel series on Disney+, including “WandaVision,” “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” and most recently “Loki.”

Diesel contends nearly 70% of prospective Black Widow moviegoers also watched a Marvel series on Disney+, followed by more than 52% of Netflix streamers.

Almost 13% of Widow fans also streamed an episode of “Loki,” starring Tom Hiddleston, while 15% of Wonder Woman 1984 moviegoers will see the Marvel release.

Regardless, with Universal Pictures’ F9: The Fast Saga still speeding strong, coupled with Paramount Pictures’ enduring post-apocalyptic sequel A Quiet Place Part II, the weekend could be the strongest in the pandemic era.

‘Loki’ Top Show in Nearly Every Territory, According to New Global Streaming Original Chart

Disney+’s “Loki” was the top original streaming show in nearly every territory tracked June 7-20 in a global demand chart created under a new data agreement.

The new bi-monthly report, the Global Intelligence Tracker, is a collaboration between Whip Media and the Entertainment Globalization Association (EGA). The chart ranks the most viewed streaming original television series among U.S. viewers and highlights their corresponding performance in other key global streaming markets, showcasing how viewing varies by territory.

The EGA was founded in 2020 by Chris Fetner, formerly Netflix’s global director of postproduction partnerships and integrations.

The report is compiled utilizing Whip Media’s proprietary global panel of consumers who report what programs they follow and watch and, further, how they feel about those shows. The panel is made up of 17 million viewers in more than 170 countries and provides data on more than 4.5 million movie and TV episodes on 1,100 global platforms.

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“We know there is a global audience for content but as streaming platforms expand internationally, a barrier to entry still exists for many of their TV shows and localization has become more important than ever,” Chris Fetner, EGA managing director, said in a statement. “The Global Intelligence Tracker is the first report of its kind to identify where these barriers exist and provide actionable data to improve viewership. We’re excited to partner with Whip Media to provide this unique data to our members to help them share great stories around the world.”

“We’re thrilled to be working with Chris and the impressive membership of the EGA,” Carol Hanley, president of Whip Media, said in a statement. “By leveraging Whip Media’s extensive insights on how consumers watch and engage with programming on a country level, together we’re providing EGA members a new tool that will allow them to make smarter localization and licensing decisions for their content. The data will not only help them evaluate the demand for their content on a global basis but also see the demand for competitive content.”

At launch, the Global Intelligence Tracker will provide a list of the top 10 most viewed original TV series on leading U.S. streaming platforms and benchmark their viewership against countries in Eastern and Western Europe and Latin America, with additional markets coming soon. The Global Intelligence Tracker is available on the EGA and Whip Media websites and will be distributed through the EGA member newsletter.

Disney+ Unveils New ‘Loki’ Featurette to Promote Streaming Series

Disney+ on June 18 debuted “Humble Loki,” a new featurette for Marvel Studios’ “Loki.” The short follows Owen Wilson, Wunmi Mosaku and Sophia Di Martino as they read “special” cue cards introducing the “Loki” series, which stars Tom Hiddleston as the title character.

“Loki,” Marvel Studios’ newest original series, launched on Disney+ June 9, with new episodes streaming every Wednesday through July 14.

Marvel Studios’ “Loki” features the God of Mischief as he steps out of his brother’s shadow in a new series that takes place after the events of Avengers: Endgame. Tom Hiddleston returns as the title character, joined by Owen Wilson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Sophia Di Martino, Wunmi Mosaku and Richard E. Grant. Kate Herron directs “Loki,” and Michael Waldron is head writer.

Disney+ Bows Marvel Studios’ ‘Loki’ Series Trailer

Disney April 5 unveiled the trailer to the new Marvel Universe live-action series “Loki,” which will begin streaming exclusively June 11 on Disney+

(Update: The service May 5 announced the premiere was moving up to June 9).

In the series, the mercurial villain Loki (Tom Hiddleston) resumes his role as the God of Mischief in a period that takes place after the events of Avengers: Endgame.

After absconding with the Tesseract, Loki is a fish-out-of-water when he lands in a world of trouble with the bureaucratic TVA (Time Variance Authority). Joining Hiddleston’s return as the title character are Owen Wilson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Sophia Di Martino, Wunmi Mosaku and Richard E. Grant. Kate Herron directs and Michael Waldron is head writer.

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‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ Jumps Up Parrot’s Digital Originals Chart, but ‘WandaVision’ Leads for Fifth Week

“WandaVision,” the first Disney+ series set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, remained No. 1 for a fifth consecutive week on Parrot Analytics’ digital originals U.S. chart the week ended March 27. It had 42.3 times the demand of an average series after a 5.8% drop in demand expressions, the proprietary metric Parrot uses to gauge a show’s popularity. It was No. 8 on Parrot’s list of all TV shows.

Meanwhile, the second Disney+ Marvel original series, “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” jumped up to No. 4 on the digital originals chart after an 80% spike in demand expressions to give it 34.2 times average demand. The show, an extension of the “Captain America” side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, bowed its first of six weekly episodes March 19, just two weeks following the conclusion of “WandaVision.” It had been No. 13 the previous week.

Disney+ had a third show in the top five digital originals with the live-action “Star Wars” series “The Mandalorian,” though it dropped a spot from the week before, to No. 3, garnering 36.6 times the demand of the average show after another 1.3% dip in demand expressions.

Netflix’s perennially popular “Stranger Things” moved up to No. 2 on the digital originals chart with 39.3 times average demand and a 9.5% rise in demand expressions. It was No. 9 on the list of overall TV show demand.

Netflix’s “Cobra Kai” dropped a spot to No. 5 on the digital originals chart with 31.3 times average demand and a 2% drop in demand expressions.

With the animated “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” at No. 6, Disney+ had four shows in the top 10 digital originals, while Netflix had five, including “The Crown” at No. 8, “Lucifer” at No. 9, and “The Witcher” at No. 10.

The top 10 original not from one of those two streamers was HBO Max’s “Titans” at No. 7.

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A “digital original” is Parrot’s term for a multi-episode series in which the most recent season was first made available on a streaming platform such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu or Disney+.

The No. 1 overall TV series in terms of online demand was “SpongeBob SquarePants,” with 66.2 times average demand.

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Media Play News has teamed with Parrot Analytics to provide readers with a weekly top 10 of the most popular digital original TV series in the United States, based on the firm’s proprietary metric called Demand Expressions, which measures demand for TV content in a given market through a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites. Results are expressed as a comparison with the average demand for a TV show of any kind in the market.

Disney+ Proclaims Marvel’s ‘Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ Its Most Watched Series Premiere Ever

The Disney+ original series “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” from Marvel Studios ranked as the most watched series premiere ever on Disney+ during its March 19-22 opening weekend, and was the most-watched title overall for the same time period on a global basis, including in Disney+ Hotstar markets, according to the streaming service.

The premiere of “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” joins the premieres of Marvel Studios’ first live-action series “WandaVision” and the season two premiere of “The Mandalorian” from Lucasfilm as the three most-watched Disney+ original series opening weekends to-date, the studio announced.

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“The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” stars Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson aka The Falcon, and Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes aka the Winter Soldier. The pair, who came together in the final moments of Avengers: Endgame, team up on a global adventure that tests their abilities — and their patience.

Directed by Kari Skogland with Malcolm Spellman serving as head writer, the six-episode series also stars Daniel Brühl as Zemo, Emily VanCamp as Sharon Carter and Wyatt Russell as John Walker. “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” debuted worldwide on Disney+ March 19.

Disney Delays Theatrical ‘Black Widow’ Release to May 2021; Exhibitor Stocks Drop

In another blow to the beleaguered exhibitor business, Walt Disney Studios Sept. 23 announced it would delay the planned Marvel Studios’ Black Widow actioner theatrical release, starring Scarlett Johansson, to May 2021 from the previous Nov. 6 launch date.

Disney is also delaying by 12 months a reboot of West Side Story from director Steven Spielberg to Dec. 1o, 2021, and Kenneth Branagh’s Death on the Nile, a sequel to 2017’s Murder on the Orient Express, to Dec. 18 from Oct. 23.

The moves by the box office’s perennial leader represent another dagger in the heart of exhibitors looking to jumpstart the moviegoing consumer from the coronavirus pandemic shutdown — albeit without much content. While 70% of domestic screens have re-opened with social distancing and mask requirements, many analysts predict 2020 will achieve a record low at the box office with revenue down more than 80% from 2019.

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Warner Bros.’ Tenet, which was supposed to bring consumers back to theaters, has generated about $250 million at the box office, mostly overseas. Domestic ticket sales have wilted from the Christopher Nolan-directed thriller’s opening $20 million weekend over Labor Day to a cumulative tally around $36 million.

Eric Handler with MKM Partners says the sluggish domestic box office is in part due to ongoing theater closures in California and New York.

Tenet’s U.S. results definitely showed us that middle America cannot carry a tentpole film. You need the coasts,” Handler wrote in a note.

With no COVID-19 vaccine ready for consumption, Michael Pachter, media analyst with Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles, says consumers remain leery.

“People may be eager to visit the theaters once they feel safe doing so, but we think it is unlikely crowds will return to any semblance of normal before a vaccine is widely distributed, particularly in urban and suburban markets,” Pachter wrote in note earlier this year.

Indeed, the latest delays sent exhibitor stocks into a tailspin, with AMC Entertainment down 5.5%; Cinemark down 4.1%; Imax down 5.6%; Marcus (-3%); Reading International (-0.9%) and National CineMedia down 0.9% in midday trading.

ABC TV’s Commercial-Free Broadcast of ‘Black Panther’ Tribute to Late Actor Chadwick Boseman Generated 6 Million Views

Disney-owned ABC Television’s commercial-free Sunday night (Aug. 30) broadcast of Marvel Studios’ Black Panther following actor Chadwick Boseman’s death on Aug. 28 after a lengthy battle against colon cancer, generated more than 6 million viewers — tops among all networks.

The subsequent tribute, “Chadwick Boseman: A Tribute for a King” generated 4.7 million viewers. The program featured numerous Black Panther co-stars, Marvel Studios CEO Kevin Feige and Disney executive chairman Bob Iger, among others.

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“He was having this immense success, in a strata of his own, humble hardworking, always smile on his face,” actor Robert Downey Jr., who plays Iron-Man in the Avengers franchise, said about Boseman. Downey called Black Panther “the crowning achievement” of the Marvel cinematic universe.

‘Black Panther’ Star Chadwick Boseman Dead at 43

Actor Chadwick Boseman, who generated acclaim for his portrayal of strong black characters and the lead in Disney/Marvel Studios’ groundbreaking Black Panther, died Aug. 28 at age 43 after a lengthy battle against colon cancer.

Boseman died at his home surrounded by his wife and family, according to a statement by his publicist Nicki Fioravante on social media. The actor had been diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, which had worsened to stage IV.

“It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm the passing of Chadwick Boseman,” the statement read. “A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much. From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and several more, all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy.”

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Boseman is most well-known for playing King T’Challa in Marvel Studios’ 2018 superhero movie Black Panther, which went on to win three Oscars and generate more than $1.347 billion at the global box office. The movie was the top-grossing release of the year, besting Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War, Pixar’s Incredibles 2 and Universal Pictures’ Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Boseman originated the role in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, and reprised it in Infinity War and 2019’s Avengers: Endgame, the latter becoming the highest-grossing box office film of all time (unadjusted for inflation).

His performance in Black Panther earned an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture, and a Screen Actors Guild Award as part of the ensemble for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. He also won MTV Movie Awards for Best Performance in a Movie and Best Hero.

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Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson in ’42.’

Boseman first came to mainstream attention playing Jackie Robinson in the 2013 film 42, which depicted the civil rights icon’s breaking of the Major League Baseball color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. Coincidentally, the MLB had been celebrating Aug. 28 as Jackie Robinson Day, marking the day in 1945 Dodgers GM Branch Rickey told Robinson he was being prepped for integrating the league (baseball’s usual Jackie Robinson Day to mark his MLB debut on April 15 was wiped out this year when the league delayed starting its season as a result of the coronavirus pandemic).

Aug. 28 is also the birthday of Black Panther co-creator Jack Kirby.