The digital release of any film is a considerable risk. As such, Black Widow‘s release on Disney+ Premier Access and theaters was going to be a gamble. Not only because it influenced its theatrical run but also due to piracy. This is why a delayed-release in China is a considerable risk for Marvel Studios’ Box Office return. As predicted, it became a reality, as Torrent Freak shared their overview of the most torrented movies of the year. Marvel Studios’ latest has been holding that spot ever since it was released.
To add a positive twist to the matter, it shows the strong demand for Marvel Studios films. There always was a risk involved in releasing it via their streaming service at a price. The fact they still sold $60M is impressive, and the film caught the top spot during the pandemic for its opening weekend. It also seems that the Disney+ U.S. household viewers have nearly doubled throughout the second week, which does show a generally good development for the game.
The problem that piracy creates is the film’s longevity. Throughout its Box Office run, films gain additional income through repeat viewings. Disney+ is not a one-time payment. So, you can rewatch it from the comfort of your home. Others might take to piracy to avoid the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic. These developments are a big challenge for streaming services.
They need to find ways to protect their offerings from torrent sites. It affects others such as Amazon’s The Tomorrow War and Netflix’s Gunpowder Milkshake joining the Top Three. Piracy is a general issue but took on a whole new level during the pandemic. The big question is if Jungle Cruise will face similar developments and if it might be the end of Disney Premier Access.