The actress Scarlett Johansson, star of the latest Marvel movie “Black Widow” (2021), denounced Disney on Thursday for breach of contract due to the simultaneous release in cinemas and on the Disney + digital platform of this film.
Johansson, who filed the complaint in a court in Los Angeles (USA), pointed out that the agreement he reached with Disney for the filming of “Black Widow” guaranteed an exclusively theatrical release and that his salary was based in large part in the movie’s box office profits.
The actress and producer of “Black Widow” noted that there was “a promise” from Marvel that the film would have an exclusive release in theaters. “Disney was well aware of this promise, but still instructed Marvel to violate their commitment and instead release the film on Disney + the same day it hit theaters.”the lawsuit states.
“Disney intentionally induced Marvel’s breach of contract, without justification, in order to prevent Johansson from reaping the full benefits of his Marvel deal”adds the complaint.
“Black Widow” is the first film that Marvel has released since the pandemic began and is the film with which Johansson says goodbye to his character Natasha after more than a decade playing her in this popular superhero saga.
Directed by Cate Shortland and with Florence Pugh joining Johansson, “Black Widow” made $ 80 million in its opening weekend in theaters in the US and Canada, a figure that allowed it to be the best release in the US. big screen since the pandemic started.
“Black Widow” added another 78 million dollars in the international market. In addition, Disney detailed, in a very unusual gesture and commented on in Hollywood, that it had achieved 60 million more for sales on the Disney + platform in its first weekend.
Disney + subscribers had to pay an extra $ 30 to stream “Black Widow.”
This demand for Johansson could set a trend in the entertainment world at a time when the main companies in the sector are opting for streaming services with the aim of achieving greater growth.
This movement implies important changes for actors and producers, who for their part want to ensure that the development of digital platforms does not occur at their expense.
“This surely won’t be the last case where Hollywood artists take on Disney and make it clear that whatever the company intends to do, it has a legal obligation to honor its contracts.” John Berlinski, one of Johansson’s attorneys, told The Wall Street Journal.
Disney began releasing its movies on Disney + and in theaters concurrent with the pandemic when theaters were closed or had limited capacity.