Scarlett Johansson suing Disney over Black Widow streaming release

Friday - 30/07/2021 11:50
The actor claims that the studio breached her contract by releasing her standalone Marvel adventure on Disney+
Scarlett Johansson in Black Widow. Photograph: Jay Maidment/AP
Scarlett Johansson in Black Widow. Photograph: Jay Maidment/AP

Scarlett Johansson is suing Disney over the recent release of Black Widow.

The actor 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.

“Disney intentionally induced Marvel’s breach of the agreement, without justification, in order to prevent Ms Johansson from realizing the full benefit of her bargain with Marvel,” the suit, which was filed on 29 July, read.

Johansson claims that her salary was based on the box office performance of the film, which 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.

The National Association of Theatre Owners, which represents about 30,000 screens in the US, sent out a press release saying that the performance “demonstrates that an exclusive theatrical release means more revenue for all stakeholders in every cycle of the movie’s life”.

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