Black widow maybe had a impressive Disney Plus debut when it was released on July 9th, but it seems that not everyone was happy with its digital performance.
On Thursday, Black widow Star Scarlett Johansson filed a lawsuit against Disney alleging the company intentionally breached her contract by releasing the film on Disney Plus alongside theaters, rather than the cinematic release she initially agreed to.
Johansson, like many Marvel stars, had portions of her contract specifically designed to give her extra cash and bonuses depending on the film’s box office performance, which she and her lawyers said were undermining Disney’s decision to release became Black widow
That complaint Also includes alleged communications between Disney and Johansson’s agents in which Disney states that it would consult with the star if any release plans were to change from the originally planned theatrical exclusive, which their lawyers say it did not.
These types of legal issues are an ongoing problem for any studio that has adjusted its theater windowing practices due to the pandemic. A quiet place part 2John Krasinski and Emily Blunt had a disagreement with Paramount via the shorter theatrical window of this film, thanks to backend agreements. Paramount’s film, however, didn’t have a day and date release, which probably made things a little less complicated.
Warner Bros. was the first studio to announce day and date free releases to all HBO Max subscribers for 30 days. That quickly rubbed the directors in the wrong direction and Warner forced to come to an agreement
It turns out that the theater owners largely agree with Nolan. When Black widow faced drops on the second weekend at the box office, Exhibitors were quick to blame Disney’s simultaneous digital publication for the crash.
Disney, for its part, doesn’t seem particularly committed to the idea. Premier Access for titles like Black widow
While Johansson isn’t the only actor or director who has made grievances, she has come the furthest by actually taking legal action. She also takes it to the largest studio in Disney – which specifically blames the complaint, claiming Marvel fought for exclusive theatrical distribution. Regardless of whether this complaint is settled in court or out of court, it seems that changes could soon be on the cards for such deals, especially if the release strategy continues by the day and date.
The Wall Street Journal was the first to report the lawsuit.