Scarlett Johansson et al. standing in front of a fire: does black widow have a post-credits scene

Like a half-filled glass, the box office numbers for “Black Widow” are either good or bad for theaters, depending on how you look at it. With an estimated $80 million in domestic theatrical box office, the Marvel Studios film has set a new post-pandemic high for North America and has shown that, with the right film, a large portion of the public is ready to come back to theaters.

But then there is the $78 million grossed from 48 overseas markets that are still hobbled by COVID-19, and the surprising decision by Disney to reveal the film’s revenue from its simultaneous premium paid streaming release: $60 million worldwide.

Those numbers show that as the Delta variant of COVID-19 and struggles with vaccination in many key countries continue to cast uncertainty on the overseas box office, Disney will likely need the hybrid release model for the foreseeable future if its biggest tentpoles are to reach pre-pandemic levels of profitability.

And that could put a limit on how much theaters are able to profit from the six Marvel films coming in the next 12 months.

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