Scarlett Johansson’s Brutal Reaction to Disney Suggests an Ugly Legal Battle
Scarlett Johansson’s lawsuit against Disney over the streaming release of Black Widow has fans fearing a nasty legal battle between the actress and the Mouse House.
After a fantastic opening weekend at the box office, the latest Marvel film has been underperforming, and Johansson is taking Disney to court over it.
Johansson’s legal team claims that the studio breached the star’s contract when the film was streamed at the same time as it was shown in theaters, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court.
According to Johansson’s lawyers, this impacted ticket sales for the film’s theatrical release, affecting the star’s remuneration, which was related to the box office performance of Black Widow.
According to Variety, “Disney purposely induced Marvel’s breach of the agreement, without explanation, in order to prevent Ms. Johansson from receiving the full benefit of her arrangement with Marvel.”
The film was released in theaters and on Disney+ at the same time in July for $30.
Despite setting a box office record for pandemic films by generating $218 million in its first weekend and bringing in $60 million on the streamer, ticket sales have since dropped dramatically.
The film is presently grossing $319 million worldwide, putting it on track to become one of Marvel’s lowest-grossing films ever.
“It’s no secret that Disney is putting pictures like Black Widow directly onto Disney+ to increase subscribers and thereby improve the company’s stock price—and that it’s hiding behind COVID-19 as a pretext to do so,” Johansson’s attorney, John Berlinski of Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP, said in a statement.
“However, neglecting the contracts of the artists responsible for the success of its films in order to pursue this short-sighted plan is a violation of their rights, and we look forward to establishing it in court. This will undoubtedly not be the last time Hollywood stars stand up to Disney and make it obvious that, whatever the firm claims, it is legally bound to follow its contracts.”
Disney’s response was harsh, calling Johansson’s lawsuit “distressing,” implying that the studio has no intention of backing down.
In an uncharacteristically forthright comment, Disney stated, “This filing has no merit whatsoever.” “In its callous contempt for the awful, the case is extremely sad and depressing. This is a condensed version of the information.