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Scarlett Johansson sues Disney over 'Black Widow' release


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Pop-a-911-ster 38,927

Disney’s decision to release “Black Widow” on Disney Plus at the same time it hit theaters has sparked a legal battle with Scarlett Johansson, the actress tasked with playing the Marvel superhero.

In a lawsuit filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, attorneys for Johansson allege that the star’s contract was breached when the studio opted not to debut the film exclusively in theaters, a move they claim depressed ticket sales for the Avengers spinoff. Much of Johansson’s compensation was tied to the box office performance of “Black Widow” — if it hit certain benchmarks, bonuses would kick in.

“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 reads.

Disney announced in March that “Black Widow,” among several of its 2021 films, would premiere simultaneously on the studio’s subscription-based streaming service, for a premium $30 price, and on the big screen as the movie theater industry rebounded from COVID-19. On July 9, “Black Widow” set to pandemic-era box office record with its $80 million in North America and earned an additional $78 million overseas and $60 million on Disney Plus. Ticket sales steeply declined in subsequent weeks and currently stand at $319 million globally, putting “Black Widow” on track to become one of the lowest-grossing Marvel movies of all time.


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ARTPOPster 1,319

I wouldn’t be surprised if part of the reason was also that this movie was directed by a female and this is their way of trying to sabotage it to show “female lead and directed  movies don’t perform well” while still maximizing  their own profit. 

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Popster to Popster 4,584

I really hate Bob Chapek so I quite enjoy this controversy for Disney, f- 'em.  I hope they all make bank off this.  Disney should've shut their mouth and settled quietly

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The Fame Popster 401

Studios cannot be trusted with vertical integration example 2398234. 

I can't believe Disney failed to cover their asses and didn't successfully re-negotiate these contracts before rolling out hybrid releases.

As someone who looks at contracts all day every day, part of me loves that this might all come down to the fact that the contract doesn't say "exclusive" theatrical release while "theatrical release" is a very common industry term with an agreed upon definition (aka it means exclusive). My biggest fear!!!! 

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