Disney sued by Black Widow star Scarlett Johansson over streaming movie release, report says

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Disney is continued by Black Widow Star Scarlett johansson on the company’s decision to sell wonder blockbuster on its streaming service Disney plus at the same time as its theatrical release, the wall street journal reported Thursday. The lawsuit claims that Disney violated Johansson’s contract, which would have guaranteed an exclusive theatrical release and based his salary in part on the film’s amount made at the box office – but not on any streaming success.

Disney did not immediately respond to a message requesting comment.


Marvel’s Black Widow is the latest – and biggest – same-day movie release on Disney Plus to date. As became the practice of several major studios during the pandemic, Disney released the film in theaters and online at the same time, giving moviegoers broader options for watching a much-anticipated film when the risks to the Health and public safety protocols continue to cripple the public’s ability and willingness to cram into theaters. The Disney model, known as Premier Access, requires an additional payment of $ 30 on top of the regular price of the Disney Plus membership.

But this same-day strategy has outraged some of Hollywood’s greatest directors and stars, whose salaries are often tied to box office performances in contracts conceived before the pandemic, while the idea of ​​a release the same day on a streaming service was nonsense. . When Warner Bros. revealed an unprecedented plan to release his entire 2021 roster on the HBO Max streaming service at no additional cost the same day the films hit theaters, Christopher Nolan – one of the studio’s star directors for nearly 20 years – made fun of the decision to turn the “biggest movie studio” into “the worst streaming service”.

Johansson’s lawsuit marks the most high-profile court challenge of the same-day strategy to date.

Black Widow drew a large following on its opening weekend, both on the big screen and at home. Disney Plus subscribers spent more than $ 60 million to watch it online, in addition to its $ 158 million at the global box office in its first weekend. But the film did not have as much resistance from theatergoers over the following weekends as previous Marvel blockbusters, fueling speculation that the film’s availability online could weigh on demand to see it in theaters. .


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