The actress criticizes the American giant for having released the film on its streaming platform, Disney +, at the same time as in theaters.
Scarlett Johansson sues Disney over decision to release film Black widow on her streaming platform at the same time as in theaters which, according to the actress, constitutes a breach of contract having cost her millions of dollars.
Scarlett Johansson, one of Hollywood’s highest-paid stars, was entitled to a percentage of the proceeds raised by the highly anticipated Marvel film, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday in a Los Angeles court. The output of Black widow on the big screen, scheduled for last year, had been postponed several times because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The film was finally released in July in theaters, but also on the Disney + streaming platform.
Box office experts believe that the disappointing numbers – by Marvel movie standards – are in part due to its simultaneous streaming release. In three weeks, the film grossed $ 150 million in American theaters. “It’s no secret that Disney is releasing films like ‘Black Widow’ directly on Disney + to attract more subscribers and thus boost the company’s share price – and invoke the Covid-19 as pretext”Scarlett Johansson’s lawyer John Berlinski said in a statement to AFP. “This is surely not the last time that Hollywood talents stand up to Disney and make it clear that whatever the company may claim, it has a legal obligation to honor its contracts,” he added. Disney, which owns Marvel Studios specializing in superheroes, did not immediately respond to AFP’s request.
Like many Hollywood studios, Disney is increasingly prioritizing streaming as a source of future revenue. After the first weekend of operation of Black widow, Disney had issued a statement claiming that the film had reaped “Over $ 60 million” just on Disney +, where it was available to subscribers, for an additional cost of $ 30.
In the complaint filed, it is stated that “To protect her financial interests, Ms. Johansson secured a promise from Marvel that the film would be released ‘in theaters'” which, according to her, implied that it would not be available to stream immediately. Corn “Disney wanted to draw audiences for the film away from theaters and to its own streaming service, where it could keep the revenue to itself while increasing the number of Disney + subscribers”, the company seeking to “get rich”, we still read.
Rival studio Warner Bros. came under fire last year for making a similar move by releasing all of its films simultaneously to theaters and streaming. Warner had renegotiated many of his contracts with stars and directors, and reportedly paid more than $ 200 million to make up for the shortfall at the box office.