Scarlett Johansson Sparked Legal Battle Against Disney For Violating Contract Releasing Black Widow on Disney+
As result of Disney’s decision to broadcast the movie “Black Widow” on Disney Plus at the same time as it was released in theatres, the actress who plays the superhero is suing.
According to counsel for Johansson, the star’s contract was broken when the studio chose not to release Avengers: Infinity War solely in theatres, which, they claim, hurt ticket sales for the Avengers spinoff. This was partly due to “Black Widow” performing well at the box office, which resulted in incentives for Johansson.
To prevent Ms. Johansson from receiving the full benefit of her deal with Marvel Studios, Disney “actively caused Marvel to violate its agreement without reason,” according to the claim.
As the movie theatre industry recovered from COVID-19, Disney announced in March that “Black Widow,” among many of its 2021 projects, will debut simultaneously on the studio’s subscription-based streaming service, at a premium price of $30, and on the big screen.
As of July 9, “Black Widow” had grossed $80 million in North America, $78 million abroad, and $60 million on Disney Plus, breaking the pandemic box office record. In the weeks that followed, ticket sales plummeted, and “Black Widow” is now on course to become one of the lowest-grossing Marvel movies of all time.
Disney loses money in income per viewer during the film’s lifetime since “Black Widow” is simultaneously released in cinemas and on streaming, according to the industry’s major trade association.
Disney’s stock, on the other hand, increased when the corporation published the rental statistics, according to the claim.
According to the lawsuit, “Disney opted to appease Wall Street investors and boost its bottom line over allowing its subsidiary Marvel to comply with its agreements.” No one was surprised by Disney’s violation of the agreement, which drove millions of moviegoers away from the theatres and onto its Disney+ streaming service.”
Journal says that people close to Johansson think that the choice to broadcast the picture simultaneously on Disney Plus resulted in $50 million in bonuses being lost because of the decision to release it simultaneously.
In the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic and new distribution paradigms, actress Scarlett Johansson has filed a lawsuit. Many prominent actors have contracts that entail participation in the backside earnings. This has been made possible by the advent of streaming services, such as Netflix, and by the choice of major movie companies such as Warner Bros. and Disney to distribute films on their own subscription services.
In order to transmit its complete film slate to HBO Max, Warner Bros. had to pay the actors of those films tens of millions of dollars because cinema theatres were only running at a restricted capacity for much of the year. Warner Bros. was able to pay celebrities like Will Smith, Denzel Washington, and Keanu Reeves for the films they put on their new streaming service.
If Johansson’s lawsuit is successful, it could encourage other actors to seek additional compensation for films that have been transferred to streaming services, and it could lead agents to include stricter language in contracts about compensation if an exclusive theatrical release is compromised or bypassed. Johansson’s attorneys said that her lawsuit could be a precedent setter.
Attorney for Scarlett Johansson, John Berlinski, stated in a statement: “It’s no secret that Disney is putting pictures like Black Widow straight on Disney Plus to attract subscribers and therefore enhance the company’s stock price.” As a result of this short-sighted plan, we will be violating their rights by neglecting the contracts of the artists responsible for the success of its films. Disney has a legal duty to respect its commitments, and this is not the first time Hollywood stars have stood up to the business.”
Attorneys for Scarlett Johansson were concerned that “Black Widow” might premiere on Disney Plus before the coronavirus shut down life as we knew it. According to the lawsuit, emails from the star’s management group requesting that “Black Widow” be released exclusively in theatres were shared. Dave Galluzzi, Marvel’s chief legal counsel, responded by promising a conventional theatrical bow.
Disney did not respond to this yet.
Top United States Opening (Box-Office) Weekends for Movies After March 2020
|Title||Distributor/Studio||Theatrical Release||Theaters||Same-Day Digital Platform||Gross|
|1||Black Widow||Disney||Jul 9, 2021||4,160||Disney+ (Premier Access)||$80.4M|
|2||F9||Universal||Jun 25, 2021||4,179||N/A||$70M|
|3||A Quiet Place Part II||Paramount||May 28, 2021*||3,726||N/A||$57.1M|
|4||Godzilla vs. Kong||Warner Bros.||Mar 31, 2021*||3,064||HBO Max||$48.1M|
|5||Space Jam: A New Legacy||Warner Bros.||Jul 16, 2021||3,965||HBO Max||$31.1M|
|6||Cruella||Disney||May 28, 2021*||3,892||Disney+ (Premier Access)||$26.5M|
|7||The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It||Warner Bros.||Jun 4, 2021||3,102||HBO Max||$24.1M|
|8||Mortal Kombat||Warner Bros.||Apr 23, 2021||3,073||HBO Max||$23.3M|
|9||Demon Slayer: Mugen Train||FUNimation||Apr 23, 2021||1,600||N/A||$21.1M|
|10||Tenet||Warner Bros.||Sep 3, 2020*||2,810||N/A||$20M|