“Black Widow” Actress Scarlett Johansson And Disney Settles Dispute Over Streaming Strategy
Actress Scarlett Johansson and Disney have settled a breach of contract lawsuit over the release of the Marvel superhero film Black Widow.
“I am happy to have resolved our differences with Disney,” stated Johansson. “I’m incredibly proud of the work we’ve done together over the years and have greatly enjoyed my creative relationship with the team. I look forward to continuing our collaboration in years to come.”
Disney Studios chairman Alan Bergman added: “I’m very pleased that we have been able to come to a mutual agreement with Scarlett Johansson regarding Black Widow. We appreciate her contributions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and look forward to working together on a number of upcoming projects, including Disney’s Tower of Terror.”
Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
In the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court against Disney in July, Johansson claimed that she had been guaranteed that “Black Widow” would have an exclusive theatrical release, and that the bulk of her salary was based on the box office performance.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the actress alleges that she lost more than $50million as a result of the film being released on streaming service Disney+ at the same time as its debut in theatres.
Johansson is estimated to have made around $15 million in advance for “Black Widow”, but says in the suit that the streaming release cut into her lucrative bonuses.
“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.
Disney responded in July by saying that “there is no merit whatsoever to this filing.” The studio added at the time that the company “fully complied with Ms. Johansson’s contract and furthermore, the release of ‘Black Widow’ on Disney+ with Premier Access has significantly enhanced her ability to earn additional compensation on top of the $20 million she has received to date.”
“Black Widow” premiered at events around the world on June 29, 2021, and was released in the United States on July 9 simultaneously in theaters and through Disney+ with Premier Access. The film broke several pandemic box office records and grossed over $378 million worldwide, becoming the fifth-highest-grossing film of 2021.