Disney+ has been shy about divulging sales for Premier Access movies like Mulan, but it's now eager to brag. As AV Club reports, Disney has revealed that Marvel blockbuster Black Widow raked in more than $60 million in estimated revenue solely from customers paying $30 each for Premier Access. That's more than a quarter of the roughly $215 million Disney expected to make from all sources, including US and international box office sales.
The company also bragged that Black Widow was the largest US box office opening during the COVID-19 pandemic, just besting F9. That wasn't difficult, though, given that movie theaters have routinely struggled to attract viewers when they weren't dealing with widespread closures.
We wouldn't count on Disney providing Premier Access figures on a regular basis, especially as the pandemic continues to (hopefully) subside and more people are comfortable venturing to theaters. To some extent, the media giant needed the $60 million number to make Black Widow's debut sound more impressive. We'd add that it's difficult to compare this against data for rivals like Amazon and Netflix. They don't have equivalents to Premier Access, so they measure success for original movies largely in terms of viewership and new subscriptions.
Nonetheless, this represents an important milestone for Disney as it shifts toward streaming. It's now comfortable mentioning Premier Access numbers after months of staying quiet. Even if Premier Access fades into the background, it's now a significant part of Disney's movie release strategy.