Scarlett Johansson is reportedly suing Disney for breach of contract over her superhero solo starrer “Black Widow.”
The Wall Street Journal was the first to break the news.
The American actress is claiming that the studio’s decision to launch her first, and last, Marvel standalone film on Disney+ as well as cinemas is a breach of contract.
“To maximize these receipts, and thereby protect her financial interests, Ms. Johansson extracted a promise from Marvel that the release of the picture would be a ‘theatrical release. As Ms. Johansson, Disney, Marvel, and most everyone else in Hollywood knows, a ‘theatrical release’ is a release that is exclusive to movie theaters.
“Disney was well aware of this promise, but nonetheless directed Marvel to violate its pledge and instead release the picture on the Disney+ streaming service the very same day it was released in movie theaters,” the lawsuit read in part.
Reports said that Johansson’s earnings will be based on the movie’s box-office receipt.
Reacting to the lawsuit, Disney says that the lawsuit is “especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Black Widow ” was initially planned for release in May 2020 but was moved due to the pandemic. the movie opened strong with $80m in the US but suffered the steepest second week decline of any entry within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, dropping 67%. Exhibitors later criticised Disney, blaming the hybrid release for the drop.
Disney announced in March that the $200m-budgeted film will premier simultaneously in theaters and on Disney+ on June 29 (worldwide) via its Premier Access feature that costs US$30. It grossed US$60 million on its opening weekend on Disney+.
Reports said that as of July 28, “Black Widow” grossed US$319.5 million worldwide.