Variety – Marvel’s “Black Widow” is already crushing pandemic-era box office records.

The superhero adventure raked in a mighty $39.5 million from 4,160 theaters on Friday, the biggest single-day gross since the onset of COVID-19. Through the weekend, “Black Widow” is poised to generated a huge $87.8 million, which would best the benchmark previously set by “F9” and its $70 million debut. The final opening weekend number for the Cate Shortland-directed movie could shoot even higher with positive word-of-mouth. As the first Marvel film to open in theaters since the start of the pandemic, “Black Widow” is already receiving a warm welcome from MCU fans.

At the same time, “Black Widow” is currently available to stream on Disney Plus Premier Access for $30, which could impact box office returns. However, its strong start on the big screen has been encouraging to Hollywood executives and film exhibitors.

Starring Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, David Harbour and Rachel Weisz, “Black Widow” follows the adventures of Natasha Romanoff between the events of “Captain America: Civil War” and “Avengers: Infinity War.” After uncovering a dangerous conspiracy, Romanoff is forced to confront the darker parts of her past.

Despite “Black Widow’s” robust turnout, Universal’s action tentpole “F9” is still going strong at the box office. The film is projected to bring in $10.4 million over the weekend, which would boost its domestic total up to an impressive $140.8 million. “F9” has given movie theaters a much-needed boost, and has so far hit $100 million in ticket sales faster than any other pandemic-era release.

Coming in at No. 3 is Universal’s animated family film “The Boss Baby: Family Business,” which brought in $2.8 million on Friday and is expected to earn another $8.7 million through Sunday for a total of $34.7 million. Horror movie “The Forever Purge,” the fifth film in the “Purge” franchise, is set to bring in an additional $6.8 million in sales for an overall tally of $27.5 million.

Meanwhile, “A Quiet Place Part II” is still hanging on in the fifth spot. The horror film, from Paramount, is set to add another $3 million to its still-dominant haul of $150.7 million. A24’s “Zola” is also continuing to make a splash in the indie scene in its second week of release, amassing $210,000 on Friday from 1,401 theaters, which brings its total earnings to a healthy $3.1 million. The Janicza Bravo-directed film, starring Taylour Paige and Riley Keough, has also been well-received by critics.

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