The actress Scarlett Johansson, protagonist of the latest Marvel film ‘Black Widow’ (2021), has denounced Disney this Thursday for breach of contract due to the simultaneous release in cinemas and on the Disney + digital platform of this film.
Johansson, who has filed the complaint in a court in Los Angeles (USA), has indicated that the agreement he reached with Disney for the filming of “Black Widow” guaranteed a exclusively released in theaters and that his salary was based in large part on the movie box office profits.
The actress and also producer of “Black Widow” points out that there was “a promise” from Marvel that the film would have an exclusive release in theaters.
“Disney was well aware of this promise, but he still instructed Marvel to violate their engagement and instead release the film on Disney + the same day it hit theaters, “the lawsuit states.
“Disney intentionally induced Marvel’s breach of contract, without justification, with the aim of preventing Johansson from obtaining the full benefits of his agreement with Marvel, “the complaint adds.
“Black Widow” is the first film that Marvel has released since the pandemic began and is the film with which Johansson says goodbye to his character Natasha after more than a decade playing her in this popular superhero saga.
$ 80 million
Directed by Cate Shortland and with Florence Pugh accompanying Johansson, “Black Widow” raised $ 80 million (67.2 million euros at the current exchange rate) in its opening weekend in theaters in the US and Canada, a figure that allowed it to be the best launch on the big screen since the pandemic began.
“Black Widow” added another 78 million dollars (about 65.6 million euros) in the international market. In addition, Disney detailed, in a very unusual gesture and commented on in Hollywood, that it had achieved 60 million (50.4 million euros) more for sales on the Disney + platform in its first weekend.
Disney + subscribers had to pay an extra $ 30 (about 25.2 euros) to see “Black Widow”. This Johansson lawsuit could set a trend in the entertainment world at a time when the main companies in the sector are opting for streaming services in order to achieve greater growth.
This movement involves important changes for actors and producers, who for their part want to ensure that the development of digital platforms does not occur at their expense.
“This surely won’t be the last case where Hollywood artists take on Disney and make it clear that whatever the company intends to do, you have a legal obligation to fulfill your contracts“John Berlinski, one of Johansson’s lawyers, told the Wall Street Journal.
Disney began releasing its films on Disney + and in theaters concurrent with the pandemic when theaters were closed or had limited capacity. This weekend he will present in theaters and on the platform at the same time another of his big bets for this summer: “Jungle Cruise” with Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt as stars.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.