Slowly, ever so cautiously, things are getting back to normal. This was a big weekend for movies as Marvel’s Black Widow debuted in both theaters and on the Disney+ Streaming app. Variety reported that this movie generated $80 million in the theaters domestically (far beyond any other post-pandemic release) and another $60 million via Disney Plus Premier Access, where you had to fork over another $30 bucks.
That worked well for my brothers and their families, who are vacationing together and created a fun shared experience.
I have no idea what that bodes for in-theater movies vs. seeing them on streamers. I will say it was a bit odd to see an ad for an Amazon series (Tomorrow War) before the Black Widow theatrical movie that my wife and I attended.
But all in all, it felt really good to be in a theater again. Even the annoying people in the theater weren’t really annoying – it was so pleasant to be enjoying a movie in a social setting again.
“It was good to be back in a theater, in the dark, with a crowd. It didn’t matter what the movie was,” said Steve Rotterdam of AfterShock Comics and Bonfire Agency. It seems likes that was the overall reaction to seeing movies in the theater.
Professor Larry Maslon of the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University made it back into the theater too:
So, in the summertime, our family decamps to a small town on the North Fork of Long Island that has only one movie theater. Until the summer of 2020, of course, we saw all our summer movies there, and that means opening day of all the MCU movies. Last week, I took my 13-year-old Miles and his pal to see the opening of Black Widow. Unlike our MCU excursions in New York City, where there are hundreds of fanboys in the debut audience, this weekend I was the only fanboy in a small audience of, say, 25 (and Miles, but only sort of because he’s more grown-up than I). When the requisite MCU fan-service Easter egg joke appeared halfway through Black Widow (no spoilers–figure it out yourselves, it’s a heck of a reference), I shrieked with laughter.
After the movie, Miles was furious with me: “Dad, you always do that at a Marvel movie–you’re the only one laughing at these in-jokes. It’s so embarrassing.”
“Yes,” I replied, “But you only noticed because we just started going back to the movies.”
Back to the CONS?
It was a busy weekend for me, as I also attended my first live comic con in forever too. Ken Wheaton, a comics pro who’s never lost his excitement for collecting, launched Rochester’s newest comic convention, The Empire Comic Fest. Upstate New York has a rich history of wonderful cons, and there was definitely an impatience to get things going again.
Emil Novak of Buffalo is holding a convention there next Sunday, and long-time “Convention Maestro” Teddy Hanes has several conventions on the calendar too.
It was refreshing to be back at a convention. This one was focused on back issues, with dealers selling high value books. A strong retailer from Buffalo, Dave and Adams, also exhibited, and it was encouraging to see and hear their enthusiasm.
I found a few treasures there – two Big Little Books (I’ve been looking for that Space Ghost one for years and years) and on issue of DC’s Korak, Son of Tarzan. I do believe this issue is a bit of a landmark and I’m eager to write about it next week.
As you can see from the photos, a good time was had by all. And isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be at a local comic convention?