Scarlett Johansson Sues Disney for Releasing Black Widow on Streaming
Black Widow star Scarlett Johannson filed a lawsuit against Marvel parent company Disney on Thursday alleging that the decision to stream the film on Disney + and release it in theaters at the same time was against their contract and cost them tens of millions of dollars could.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Johannson's lawsuit alleges that her initial agreement with Marvel guaranteed an exclusive theatrical release and that her salary was largely based on the movie's box office performance. The decision to release the film on Disney + is expected to cost Johansson more than $ 50 million, a source familiar with her contract tells WSJ.
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"Disney intentionally breached Marvel's contract without justification to prevent Ms. Johansson from taking full advantage of her deal with Marvel," the lawsuit said. After learning that Black Widow would also be available to stream, Johansson's agents attempted to renegotiate their contract according to the lawsuit, but Disney and Marvel did not respond.
Black Widow, with Johannson as the eponymous Marvel superhero, was originally scheduled to hit theaters in May 2020, but has been pushed back several times due to the global COVID-19 pandemic that closed cinemas around the world. In March, Disney announced that Black Widow would hit theaters on July 9th, but would also be streamed on Disney + for a $ 30 fee that same day "Premier Access", following other Disney releases such as Mulan and Raya and the last dragon.
Disney announced earlier this month that Black Widow made more than $ 60 million from Disney + Premier Access streams on opening weekend, along with $ 80 million at the domestic box office. This indicates an almost even distribution between streamers and moviegoers: In a recent TVLine reader survey, almost 52 percent of respondents said they had seen Black Widow on Disney + (with Premier Access) compared to a cinema.
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