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Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) in Marvel Studios' 'Black Widow'. Image Credit: AP

Marvel’s ‘Black Widow’, the highly anticipated solo outing for veteran Avenger Natasha Romanoff, opened in first place this weekend with $80 million (Dh293.8 million) in US and Canadian ticket sales.

The result is the largest North American box office opening since the pandemic began more than a year ago.

The film, which premiered simultaneously in theatres and on Disney+ premier access, earned upward of $215 million globally with more than $60 million of those revenues coming from Disney+ alone.

The simultaneous streaming release — available for about $30 — represents one of the biggest tests yet of consumers’ willingness to visit a theatre for a movie they could be watching at home.

Directed by Cate Shortland, ‘Black Widow’ was well received, with an A- CinemaScore and an 80% “fresh” rating on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes.

“It’s incredible to see audiences enjoying ‘Black Widow’ after two years without a new Marvel Studios film,” Disney Studios Chairman Alan Bergman said in a statement. “This spectacular opening weekend shows just how eager fans have been to see this beloved Avenger in her own story.”

‘Black Widow’ is the only film to cross the $100 million mark in its opening weekend since the start of the pandemic.

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The release date for the movie was delayed more than a year because of the pandemic, which kept indoor theatres closed for most of the last 12 months.

The strong debut is a sign of a recovery in the cinema business, although ticket sales remain well below pre-pandemic levels as theatres have stepped up efforts to lure movie patrons back.

The combined theatrical and Disney+ premier access opening puts the film squarely between ‘Black Panther’ ($202 million) and ‘Captain Marvel’ ($153.4 million) in terms of biggest domestic opening weekend for a Marvel origin story and marks the largest domestic opening since ‘Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker’ opened in theatres in December 2019 to $177.4 million.