‘Black Widow’ Got Hammered By Piracy And May Have Lost $600M In Revenue

The outbreak of COVID-19 fundamentally changed the moviegoing experience, but also the distribution model. No longer were major films guaranteed to be released in theaters, because people weren’t taking that risk. Instead, blockbusters were being dropped onto streaming platforms regularly. And one of the major problems to arise from this digital release strategy is that it’s a lot easier for piracy to occur. And boy, did Disney’s Black Widow take a hit.

According to Deadline, Black Widow, which was released both in theaters and streaming on Disney+ Premier Access for $29.99, was pirated approximately 20 million times. No, I didn’t make one of my typical grammatical fuck ups. That’s an actual 20 million. And if you factor that out based on the Disney+ cost, that equates to $600M in lost revenue.


Hey, who wants to pay $29.99 when you can go to some torrent site and get a clear-as-shit 4K version for free?

Of course, this is all an estimate and there’s no way to actually know. But if you took even half that number, $300M, and add it to Black Widow‘s lackluster $379M haul, that gives you $679M and that looks pretty damn good. Scarlett Johansson wouldn’t have needed to hit Disney with that lawsuit asking for her money, either.

So basically, don’t expect Disney to do that streaming shit again unless they absolutely have to.

Travis Hopson
Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.