Scarlett Johansson sues Disney over streaming release of Black Widow alleging she lost out on more than $50 MILLION… after initial salary deal was based on box office performance
- Johansson, 36, alleges she’s lost more than $50million in earnings as a result of Black Widow being released on Disney+ at the same as theaters
- The actress filed the lawsuit on Thursday claiming she’d been guaranteed the Marvel film would have an exclusive theatrical release
- The suit says Disney prevented Johansson ‘from realizing the full benefit of the bargain with Marvel’
Black Widow star Scarlett Johansson is suing Disney, claiming the movie’s opening weekend release through online streaming breached her contract.
Johansson, 36, alleges that she lost out of more than $50million as a result of the film being released on streaming service Disney+ at the same time as its debut in theaters, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The actress filed the lawsuit on Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court against Disney, claiming she had been guaranteed that Black Widow would have an exclusive theatrical release, and that her salary was based on the box office performance.
‘Disney intentionally induced Marvel’s breach of the agreement, without justification, in order to prevent Ms. Johansson from realizing the full benefit of her bargain with Marvel,’ the suit said, per the report.
Lawsuit: Scarlett Johansson sues Disney over streaming release of Black Widow alleging she lost out on more than $50 MILLION after initial deal with Marvel
Black Widow took in $60 million on the streaming platform Disney+ on the opening weekend alone, the company previously announced in its first breakdown of steaming figures for a movie.
The movie, starring Johansson as the cat-suited superspy, was available online to Disney+ subscribers for an extra fee of $29.99 at the same time as its release in traditional theaters.
The movie set a pandemic-era record bringing in $218 million worldwide over opening weekend earlier this month, including the streaming figures, plus $80 million domestic box office and $78 million internationally.
Johansson’s lawsuit claims that Disney wanted to steer audiences toward Disney+, ‘where it could keep the revenues for itself while simultaneously growing the Disney+ subscriber base, a proven way to boost Disney’s stock price.’
‘Second, Disney wanted to substantially devalue Ms. Johansson´s agreement and thereby enrich itself,’ the lawsuit said.
Black Widow, starring Scarlett Johansson as the cat-suited superspy, was available online to Disney+ subscribers for an extra fee of $29.99.
Disney did not immediately respond to a request for comment from DailyMail.com on Thursday afternoon.
The suit comes at a pivotal moment for the film industry, as more major studios experiment with releasing movies simultaneously online and in theaters.
In response to the pandemic, Warner Bros. decided to release its full slate of movies this year on HBO Max on the same day that they hit theaters.
Parent company AT&T, which owns both Warner Bros. and HBO, appears pleased with the formula and plans to extend it.
Last week, WarnerMedia chief Jason Kilar revealed that in 2022 Warner Bros. will be producing 10 films that will debut on HBO Max the same day they’re released
Developing story, more to follow.