It’s probably the sad end of an era: Scarlett Johansson has sued Disney for breach of contract. The outcome could have far-reaching consequences.
It’s a radical move that is sure to come out of the blue for many: Hollywood star Scarlett Johansson has filed a lawsuit against Disney, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. Her accusation: With the parallel launch of her latest film “Black Widow” in the cinema as well as directly via the VIP access of the streaming service Disney +, the entertainment group has committed a breach of contract.
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Accordingly, an exclusive theatrical release of “Black Widow” is said to have been guaranteed in the contract. Because the amount of their fee is largely based on the worldwide cinema revenues. Accordingly, the complaint states: “Disney intentionally and without reason broke the Marvel agreement to prevent Ms. Johansson from taking full advantage of her deal with Marvel.”
Does that break the bond between Scarlett Johansson and Disney / Marvel Studios? Between these Hollywood stars in this one Video anyway:
“Black Widow”: negative record on the second weekend
“Black Widow”, the first Marvel Phase 4 movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), had a fantastic start with 80 million US dollars in the USA alone on the opening weekend: pandemic record; Internationally, 158 million US dollars were raised. In Germany, the superhero film grossed 2.04 million euros with around 205,000 visitors. Then, however, the sudden crash followed on the second weekend. Here, too, there was a record, albeit a negative one: “Black Widow” was able to earn just 26.25 million US dollars in North America, a drop of 67 percent. An MCU film distributed by Disney has never crashed so badly on the second weekend in the cinema.
There are many possible reasons for this: On the one hand, there is the audience themselves, who in these uncertain Corona times do not yet dare to go back to the cinemas, then some cinemas are boycotting the Disney film due to the changed conditions and – probably the most important reason – Disney also offers “Black Widow” in many countries via Disney + VIP access. For EUR 21.99, Disney + subscribers can stream the film from the comfort of their own home in Germany, for example – as often as they want and via a variety of devices. In this way, around 60 million US dollars are said to have been raised on the start weekend. Money in which neither the cinema operators nor Johansson have a share.
The films in this Video definitely start in the cinema and shouldn’t be missed:
Lawsuits could spill over Hollywood
As early as March 2019, Johansson is said to have made sure through her team at Marvel that “Black Widow” will be shown exclusively in the cinema and that a parallel launch via Disney + is excluded. Marvel assured her in an email that any changes to the terms of the contract would be discussed with her in advance. However, she did not receive a response from either Disney or Marvel Studios when her representatives are said to have asked for clarification after the streaming start was announced.
Johansson’s lawyer, John Berlinski, is certain that – if the 36-year-old can prevail – more Hollywood stars will defend themselves against Disney’s publication policy. What is certain is that many studios are striving for a faster streaming start of their films and therefore massively shortening the cinema exploitation window. For example, Warner Bros. films will first be shown in theaters again from 2022, but only 45 days before they are sent directly to the in-house streaming service HBO Max. This in turn means that stars who have a percentage share of the cinema revenues could receive significantly less in the future.
Disney rejected the lawsuit in a statement (via Deadline) that it was particularly sad and shocking, especially against the background of the still angry corona pandemic. The company also pointed out that thanks to the streaming start, Johansson had been given the opportunity to generate additional income on top of what had already been received $ 20 million gage to smear out.
“Black Widow” was the supposed last appearance of Scarlett Johansson as a member of the Avengers. A return has been conceivable at any time, according to Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige. With your lawsuit, the chances of this should now tend to zero.
Marvel legend Stan Lee never wanted to argue. He just wanted to do a cameo in a Marvel movie. Do you recognize the respective film based on its cameo?
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