Furious! Scarlett Johansson doesn’t play games with her “Black Widow” coins! According to the Wall Street Journal, the award-winning actress filed a lawsuit against Disney on Thursday. The lawsuit filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court alleges Disney breached its contract with Scarlett by simultaneously releasing the Marvel film in theaters and on Disney +.
Apparently the agreement between the two parties was that ‘Black Widow’ would appear in theaters exclusively. Scarlett, who played the main character in the Marvel joint, said in her lawsuit that her salary was largely dependent on the movie’s box office performance. The film is said to have grossed $ 80 million at the US box office and $ 78 million overseas on the opening weekend. However, the lawsuit alleges that adding the film to Disney + Scarlett cost over $ 50 million. Days after the premiere, ticket sales for the film fell faster than most of Marvel’s previous films.
“Disney deliberately and without justification made Marvel a breach of contract to prevent Ms. Johansson from taking full advantage of her dealings with Marvel,” the lawsuit states.
‘Black Widow’ made about $ 60 million on Disney + streams that offered subscribers $ 30 for home purchases. However, the Wall Street Journal reports that a company spokesman has stopped talking about the lawsuit alleging Disney “fully complied with Ms. Johansson’s contract.”
“… and also, the release of Black Widow on Disney + with Premier Access has greatly improved its ability to earn additional pay on top of the $ 20 million it has received so far,” the Disney spokesman reportedly said.
The lawsuits allege otherwise that Scarlett attempted to renegotiate her earnings after learning of the simultaneous release, but neither Disney nor Marvel responded. Prior to the pandemic, Scarlett was reportedly “concerned” that Disney wanted a duplicate publication, but was reassured in a 2019 email from Marvel Chief Counsel Dave Galluzzi that it would not. The executive said the release of the film would follow a “traditional theater model” and that they would “come to terms” if the plan changed.
Scarlett’s lawsuit also alleges that “Black Widow” was released on the streaming platform in an attempt to increase the audience – as Disney Chairman Robert Iger and Chief Executive Bob Chapek rely on Disney + for their annual bonuses.
“In short, the message to – and from – Disney’s top management was clear: more Disney + subscribers, not to mention your contractual promises, and you will be rewarded,” the lawsuit said.
But Disney fired back on those notes, saying the lawsuit was “sad and troubling in its callous disregard for the dire and ongoing global impact of the Covid-19 pandemic”. Amid the unpredictable circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent theater closings, Disney decided to release more films on its streaming platform, including Black Widow.
As you may already know, Scarlett entered Marvel’s world as the Black Widow character in Iron Man 2 in 2010. The latest film and focus of this lawsuit is said to be its ninth and final Marvel film.
“This will certainly not be the last case in which Hollywood talents stand up against Disney and make it clear that whatever the company claims is legally obliged to honor its contracts,” said one of Scarlett’s attorneys, John Berlinski .
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