Scarlett Johansson sues Disney for ‘Black Widow’ streaming release

Scarlett Johansson arrives for the Vanity Fair Oscar party at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, Calif., on February 9, 2020. She sued Disney on Thursday for releasing "Black Widow" on streaming and in theaters on the same day. File Photo by Chris Chew/UPI
July 30 (UPI) — Actor Scarlett Johansson sued Disney on Thursday, saying the company’s decision to simultaneously release “Black Widow” in theaters and on the Disney+ was a breach of contract that cost her millions of dollars.

According to the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, the simultaneous release drove audiences to the streaming platform, lessening box office receipts. Deadline reported that Johansson’s compensation for the Marvel movie was “largely … based on box office receipts,” which included bonuses for her if it hit certain monetary milestones.

“Black Widow,” which was released July 9, earned $80 million in North American theaters on opening day and another $78 million. The movie took in $60 million on Disney+.

The Wall Street Journal, which broke the news about the lawsuit, cited unnamed sources, which said Johansson lost out on $50 million in bonuses due to Disney’s decision to release the film simultaneously on the streaming platform.

“Disney chose to placate Wall Street investors and pad its bottom line, rather than allow its subsidiary Marvel to comply with the agreement,” the lawsuit says. “To no one’s surprise, Disney breach of the agreement successfully pulled millions of fans away from the theaters and toward its Disney+ streaming service.”


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