Disney wins $125 million with ‘Black Widow’ on streaming and escalates legal dispute with Scarlett

The Disney+ logo appears on the laptop. Photo: Tiffany Hagler-Gierd / Bloomberg

NOV YORK – The Walt Disney Company said it generated $125 million in revenue from the release of the movie “Black Widow” on its streaming service and that it, which is the target of actress Scarlett Johansson’s lawsuit, surpassed other works Is. miracle universe.

New numbers emerged in a court hearing on Friday, in which Disney asked that Scarlett’s trial be sent to arbitration in New York instead of being held at a civil trial in Los Angeles, as the actress is requesting.

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The film’s heroine, the actress, has filed a lawsuit against Disney in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging that Disney’s contract with Marvel Entertainment was violated when the company sold its streaming service on the same day as the feature film. The film was released on Disney+. Premiere in the cinema.

He claims that his contract guaranteed a particular film release, and that his salary was based largely on the film’s box office performance.

Disney countered this, stating that the actress had already received US$20 million (equivalent to over R$100 million) for her work on the film and argued that the film was released in Premiere Access. pay per view, in which a service subscriber pays an additional fee to view the Disney+ platform’s releases) “has significantly improved its ability to earn additional compensation on top of the $20 million it has received so far.”

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The company said it has offered to include online revenue in its bonus calculation, although it is not required to do so.

“Why is Disney so afraid of publicly prosecuting this case,” Scarlett Johansson’s attorney, John Burlinsky, asked in an e-mailed statement Saturday. “Because it knows that Marvel promised ‘Black Widow a specific theatrical release’ like its other films, ‘it did everything to make sure Disney wouldn’t cannibalize box office receipts to increase Disney+ subscriptions’ However, that is exactly what happened – and we look forward to presenting the overwhelming evidence to prove it.”

The Disney+ logo appears on the laptop. Photo: Tiffany Hagler-Gierd / Bloomberg

The matter has been closely watched in Hollywood as movie studios are releasing more and more movies online, and these films often appear on streaming services owned by the same parent companies as the studios. This puts them in conflict with actors and other talent who are sometimes paid based on the revenue generated by the films.

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“Black Widow”, in which Scarlett Johansson returns to play her role as Natasha Romanoff, a Russian assassin turned superhero, was released on July 9. The film grossed $367 million in theaters worldwide. Disney offered fans the ability to watch the movie at home through its Disney+ streaming service for an additional $30 fee.

Opening Weekend’s US revenue, combined with movie box office and online revenue, was better for “Black Widow” than other Marvel films including “Thor: The Dark World” and “Guardians of the Galaxy”, the company said in a courtroom. documents presented in

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Worldwide opening weekend digital revenue was $67 million, with $55 million coming from domestic customers.

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other procedures

The movement started by the protagonist of “Black Widow” may encourage other artists to file similar complaints and make them public in the coming months. According to journalist Matt Belloni, former editor of “The Hollywood Reporter,” Emma Stone is considering doing the same for “Cruella,” which released in May.

It doesn’t stop there. “Jungle Cruise,” released in theaters and on Disney+ streaming July 30, is another one that could end up in court, as one of the adventure’s protagonists, Emily Blunt, is also asked to look into the matter. .

About the author: Will Smith

Will covers public and private tech markets from New York. He was previously a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economics and Business Journalism at Columbia University, and prior to that was a reporter at the Los Angeles Business Journal. He has received a Journalist of the Year award from the L.A. Press Club and an investigative reporting award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

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