Black Widow: From The Most Anticipated Film Of 2021 To Box Office Failure

What made it disappoint fans?

A week ago, Marvel Studios released Black Widow in theaters. The film was supposed to be released in May 2020 but because of COVID-19, the U.S. release date was bumped back to July 9th, 2021.

The film made 80 million dollars worth of revenue during a three-day weekend. Over a period of weeks, however, sales dropped to just 26 million dollars. For a Marvel film, that is an enormous drop.

So how did a movie expected to be a record success become a disappointment to the fan base?

I’ve listened to several Youtubers over the last few days such as Amanda the Jedi, Chris Stuckmann, Jeremy Jahn est*  each one of them expressed that the movie felt like a sequel rather than a prequel.

Chris Stuckmann said "it felt like the movie was made just to please fans, not because the director wanted to create a Black Widow film," Although, I don't understand that logic, I agree the movie felt like a sequel rather than a prequel.

I would also say that Black Widow is the type of character that is out of Disney’s comfort zone. For example, if Marvel were to do an origins film for Natasha Romanoff, the film would have to be rated R to do the character justice.

It’s a task I’m not sure Disney is ready for. I would even go a step further and say that this is the type of film Sony is more cut out to make because of the mature content that would need to be included in an origin film for this character.

Moving on to another issue several viewers had with the film: the timing of its release.

A big issue amongst Marvel fans was how long it took for Marvel studios to make this film. To some, this film should have come right after Captain America: Civil War. it would have made more sense than to air it after Endgame.

One of my closest friends complained to me that because she knew what happened in Endgame, the film wasn’t as suspenseful as if it would have been if it had been played right after Civil War. The biggest issue she had with the film was figuring out where it placed timeline-wise with the rest of the MCU. She expressed she spent a good majority of the film trying to guess if this was after Civil War or right before Infinity War.

I didn’t have an issue with this when I went to see the movie personally, however, I can see why some people like my friend might be confused.

Speaking of Time, the next issue critics had was: did this movie come too late?

The answer for me is no, but for many, the answer is yes. As stated before, several fans were hoping for an origin story. Instead, what they got was a film that seemed like a sequel, and a lot of fans left the theater disappointed.

So what could Marvel/Disney have done better?

For starters, they could’ve used their old Touchstone entertainment label to make Black Widow. If you weren’t aware Walt Disney made several more mature films through that label.

Knowing this, it’s hard for me to see why they couldn’t take that route to make a decent origins film that everyone already realized was going to be dark.

Any long-time Marvel fan knows Natasha went through grueling training during her childhood. There was no reason for Disney/ Marvel to avoid it.

That’s one route Disney could have taken and didn’t.

A second route would be to sign over the movie rights to Sony.

Sony is the king of darker hero films like Logan from the X-Men franchise. Pigs would fly before Disney ever agreed to that because of money, I felt it was worth mentioning.

To be honest, here I would prefer Touchstone myself just because Sony’s films can be hit or miss depending on who's directing and how big the budget is. Plus, Scarlett Johansson wouldn’t be the leading lady.

The third option Disney has is to correct their mistake and make an origin film. This route would please their fanbase and repair their image on how they represent female heroes. Which in recent years hasn’t been the best.

For example, it wasn’t until the year 2017 that DC comics gave Wonder Woman, one of the most famous comic book heroines, her own live-action film. Before, that though Sony gave Electra her own origin film in 2005. It was only after the release of Wonder Woman did Marvel decide to make a female hero film, that’s right folks, Captain Marvel.

I was crying with joy when Marvel released Captain Marvel in 2019, not. I was furious and frustrated with Marvel when they gave this lesser-known character a film before Black Widow who had been a member of the MCU since the release of Iron Man 2 in 2010. It was a dirty move by Marvel and I didn’t understand why they were giving her a film at all.

If I had been Scarlett Johansson, I would have been so hurt and betrayed, but that’s just me. The point of bringing up Captain Marvel is that it only hyped up the announcement of Black Widow finally getting a movie.

My mom can attest that I was jumping down in excitement when Marvel released that announcement, and I was tempted to run and yell I told you so, to all the doubters who said Marvel would never do it.

For an entire year after Captain Marvel, everyone waited patiently for the year 2020 for the release of Black Widow, and then Corona Virus hit, and life as we know it changed in an instant. It was okay though because it only hyped us fans up even more for the film, and then the waited day finally arrived.

I’ll tell you all right now that I’ve never hurried to a theater so fast in my life. It took restraint on my part not to squeal when I reached my seat. I was so excited I didn’t even bother getting refreshments out of fear I’d miss it.

As stated before I had already concluded where this movie was set timeline-wise, and I already sorta figured that this would not be an origin story. So I can say that I enjoyed the film and that it met my expectations. I also will say that I was pleased with what Marvel did with Yelena’s character.

Yelena was created to be a rival for Natasha in the comics; for those of you who might not be aware.

Despite loving this film, there were a few things I was disappointed with. The first thing is failing to talk about Natasha’s family. Sure, Melina Vostokoff admitted to Natasha that her mother hadn’t abandoned her. But then they talk about other things and the topic is forgotten. For me, it just wasn’t enough.

As a fan, I was hoping to see some flashbacks, and a flashback of Natasha’s mom would have been perfect for that scene. While we’re on the topic of parents, what about talking about Ivan Romanoff, Nat’s dad? Red Skull mentioned him in Endgame, and since the film aired after that it wouldn’t hurt Marvel to discuss him more.

The one other minor disappointment I had with this film was that Nico Constantine, the only male ever to be in the Red Room, wasn’t included in this film. I know he’s a minor character, but I feel it would have made the world of Black Widow more diverse.

In conclusion, though, I found this film to be entertaining and meeting my expectations as a viewer.

[Image owned by: Disney UK]

Hello everyone, Caitlan here. I have a wide variety of interests, but to name a few of them, I enjoy reading, writing, films, and manga.

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