Scarlett Johansson has sued Disney for releasing her Marvel standalone film “Black Widow” in both Disney+ and the theatres simultaneously.
According to Johansson’s lawyers, the actress was only paid based on the film’s box office performance. Therefore, releasing “Black Widow” on both platforms was a breach of the contract says the lawsuit.
“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, filed on July 29, 2021, read.
According to reports, Johansson’s lawyers had tried to renegotiate the terms of the contract in 2019 when they first caught a whiff of the multi-platform release.
“This will surely not be the last case where Hollywood talent stands up to Disney and makes it clear that, whatever the company may pretend, it has a legal obligation to honor its contracts,” said John Berlinski, Johansson’s attorney.
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Disney responded to the suit Thursday, writing: “There is no merit whatsoever to this filing. The lawsuit is especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic … Disney has fully complied with Ms. Johansson’s contract and furthermore, the release of Black Widow on Disney+ with Premier Access has significantly enhanced her ability to earn additional compensation on top of the $20M she has received to date.”
“Black Widow” opened with a good start when it first premiered on July 9th 2021. The film based on Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff character in the marvel universe raked in $80 million in its first week. However, it saw a 67% decline in its second week. Disney had announced that it made $60 million via rentals in its first week of release.
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