Scarlett Johansson Sues Disney For Streaming Black Widow

Scarlett Johansson is suing Disney for breaching her contract by releasing the highly anticipated Marvel movie Black Widow both in theaters and on its streaming platform.

While the movie set a box office record during the pandemic era by grossing $218 million in its opening weekend, box office receipts later fell off dramatically.

Johansson claims that she was deprived of potential earnings due to Disney’s decision to stream the release on its Disney Plus platform.

The Marriage Story star said that Marvel Studios, now owned by Disney, had agreed that Black Widow would be a theatrical release. She explained that she understood the agreement to mean a time “window,” which is usually 90 days, between the theatrical release and the online streaming.

However, the company responded to those claims, saying that the American actress’ case had “no merit whatsoever” since it had fully complied with her contract.

Black Widow grossed around $80 million in ticket sales in North America and $78 million internationally during its opening weekend.

The film also made at least $60 million after streaming on Disney + Premier Access.

But representatives for the Oscar-nominated actress estimate that she lost $50 million, as her salary was based on the film’s box office performance.

In response to Johansson’s lawsuit, Disney stated that the dual release strategy had “significantly enhanced [Johansson’s] ability to earn additional compensation on top of the $ 20m she has received to date.”

Several Hollywood studios bypassed theaters and released their movies online amid the Covid-19 pandemic, which hit the film industry hard.

Now that many countries have lifted restrictions and cinemas have reopened, the industry giants have chosen to maintain a dual release strategy for their major films.

Disney also said the actress’s legal action had been sad in her callous disregard for the coronavirus pandemic worldwide effects.

An agent for Johansson responded to Disney’s worded statement, accusing the company of “shamelessly” trying to smear her character.

“Scarlett has been Disney’s partner on nine movies, which has earned Disney and its shareholders billions,” wrote Bryan Lourd in a statement.

Lourd also claimed that the company had revealed Johansson’s salary in an attempt to “weaponise her success as an artist and businesswoman.”