Scarlett Johansson Sues Disney


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Black Widow Movie Poster

Katy Daley, News Editor

Scarlett Johansson, the main character of Black Widow, is suing Disney for breach of her contract. She filed her lawsuit on July 29, 2021 in Los Angeles.  

“In a lawsuit filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, attorneys for Johansson allege that the star’s contract was breached when the studio opted not to debut the film exclusively in theaters, a move they claim depressed ticket sales for the Avengers spinoff. Much of Johansson’s compensation was tied to the box office performance of Black Widow — if it hit certain benchmarks, bonuses would kick in,” stated Variety

Black Widow was a movie that Johansson was excited to make for her fans, but she was mistreated by Disney when they put her movie on Disney + at the same time it was put in theaters when that wasn’t part of her contract.  

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“To maximize these receipts, and thereby protect her financial interests, Ms. Johansson extracted a promise from Marvel that the release of the picture would be a ‘theatrical release,” the suit claimed. “As Ms. Johansson, Disney, Marvel, and most everyone else in Hollywood knows, a ‘theatrical release’ is a release that is exclusive to movie theatres. Disney was well aware of this promise, but nonetheless directed Marvel to violate its pledge and instead release the picture on the Disney+ streaming service the very same day it was released in movie theatres,” explains CNN Business

All of Marvel New Releases in 2021

Even though Disney was well aware of what a theatrical release was, they denied it and released the movie on their streaming service without thinking about the consequences. They completely disregarded the contract they had to follow with  Johansson, getting them in trouble and causing her to lose money. 

“While other studios have done a same-day streaming and theatrical releases, the Black Widow news stood out because Marvel is the biggest blockbuster brand in all of Hollywood, bringing in nearly $23 billion at the global box office since 2008,” says CNN Business

In the past, other studios were guilty of doing a similar thing as Disney +, but Black Widow brought in a lot of attention because of how important and big Marvel is.