Scarlett Johansson sues Disney over the Black Widow streaming release


Scarlett Johansson sues Disney over the release of a simultaneous stream Black Widow, which debuted the same day in theaters and Disney Plus through its Premier Access service.

The lawsuit was filed in the Los Angeles Supreme Court on Thursday, alleging that Johansson’s contract with Disney-owned Marvel Entertainment guaranteed the film’s “extensive theatrical distribution.” According to the suit, it must be “well understood” that the agreement meant an exclusive publication which would not involve streaming. Johansson’s salary was based in part on the film’s box office revenue, the costume says, meaning the streaming offer could cut his salary meaningfully.

“Disney knew that cannibalization [box office receipts] Disney + saves Marvel (and more broadly Disney) “very large” amounts of money that it would otherwise owe Johansson, “the lawsuit notes. “

Johansson could lose $ 50 million due to changed release plans Wall Street Journal, which first announced the trial. The Disney spokesman did not immediately return the request for comment.

The lawsuit alleges that Disney had two primary motivations for the hybrid release. First, Disney wants to increase the number of subscribers to its streaming service and increase the value of the stock. Second, the application states: “Disney wanted to significantly underestimate Ms. Johansson’s contract and thus get rich.”

The lawsuit’s argument – that Disney promised an exclusive theatrical performance before he reassured about that assurance – seems to depend on what a “theatrical performance” is. The costume states that both Marvel and Johansson understood the promise under the extensive theatrical performance agreement that the film “would initially be released exclusively in cinemas and would remain exclusively in cinemas for about 90 to 120 days.” But it is not stated whether these details are in his contract.

“As Ms. Johansson, Disney, Marvel, and most other Hollywood members know, a‘ theatrical release ’is a release designed exclusively for movie theaters,” the statement states. “Disney was well aware of this promise, but still told Marvel to break his commitment and instead publish the picture on Disney + live on the same day it was released in movie theaters.”

Disney seems to have realized that changing the publishing strategy would affect Johansson. Marvel’s General Counsel David Galluzzi wrote to Johansson’s representatives in 2019, announcing that if the exemption plan were to change, a discussion would take place according to the lawsuit. “We understand that if the plan changes, we need to discuss this with you and reach an agreement because the deal is based on a series of (very large) box office bonuses,” Galluzzi quotes the author as saying.

During the pandemic, several Disney headlines originally intended for exclusive theatrical release were instead debuted simultaneously in theaters and Disney Plus via the Premier Access platform. Premier Access charges an additional $ 30 fee to stream these movies from home on Disney + while they are played in theaters. Black Widow, Crueland a live-action remake Mulan are among the films released in this way as theaters twisted under the deadlock of a pandemic and restrictions under 19.

It is a significant development in the liberation structure that emerged during the pandemic. Many big streamers have chosen to release movies this way, including HBO Max. The model has come under the fire from great Hollywood directors like Dune directed by Denis Villeneuve and Christopher Nolan.

The lawsuit filed this week claims that after Disney ad Johannson and his team tried to negotiate with Marvel for the release of the film that the image would debut as a date and date name. It claims that Marvel “ignored this dimension” of the film debuts on Disney Plus under the hybrid version model in any case.

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