Scarlett Johansson, star of ‘Black Widow’. (Photo: Disney)
Black Widow is a special film for Scarlett Johansson. The actress has played the character of Natasha Romanoff in the Marvel universe for more than a decade. The Avenger did not yet have her own feature film, and Black Widow explores the superheroine’s past, her history prior to becoming what the viewer already knew.
However, the Hollywood star assumes that Disney has played it with its strategy of releasing it simultaneously in theaters and on its platform (at an additional cost of $ 30 for its subscribers), and has decided to sue the company .
The Scarlett Johansson indictment
According to Johansson, who filed the complaint this Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, Disney would have violated the contract by launching Black Widow also on Disney +. The lawsuit states that the company has used the feature film to increase its number of subscribers and the price of its shares.
The actress alleges that the streaming premiere has reduced box office revenues and that Marvel agreed with her that it would only be released in theaters and in a big way, on a minimum of “1,500 screens.” In addition, it would remain exclusively in theaters “for an approximate period of between 90 and 120 days.” However, it is clear that the times would not have been met, since in the United States it was released simultaneously in theaters and on the platform on July 9.
“Disney’s financial disclosures make it clear that the same executives who orchestrated this strategy will personally benefit from their misconduct and Disney’s,” he explains, adding that Bob Chapek, the company’s CEO, “has nearly quadrupled his base salary. annual of 2.5 million dollars ”. And it doesn’t just point to him: CEO Bob Iger “has received the overwhelming majority of his $ 16.5 million compensation through shares.”
“Disney uses the pandemic as an excuse”
“It is no secret that Disney is launching movies like Black Widow directly on its platform to increase subscribers and thus boost the company’s share price, and it hides behind Covid-19 as a pretext to do so,” explained the The actress’s lawyer, John Berlinski, in a statement collected by The Wall Street Journal. In it he warns that “ignoring the contracts of the artists responsible for the success of their films to promote this strategy violates their rights” and that “surely this will not be the last case in which Hollywood talent faces Disney.”
The company has countered by revealing what Scarlett Johansson has charged so far for the film, “$ 20 million”, and has accused her of being “insensitive” to the pandemic.
“The lawsuit is especially sad and heartbreaking for its disregard for the horrific and lingering global effects of Covid-19. Disney has fully honored Ms. Johansson’s contract and, furthermore, the launch of Black Widow on Disney + with Premier Access has significantly enhanced their ability to earn additional compensation, ”explained a spokesperson.
Black Widow’s collections and how much she has lost
The film has been the best premiere “of the covid era”, according to the specialized media Deadline, and raised $ 80.3 million in its first weekend. As of July 25, production has far exceeded its budget of 200 million, with revenues exceeding 310 million worldwide. However, experts agree that its streaming launch has not only hurt the box office, but has also opened the window on piracy.
In fact, according to TorrentFreak, Black Widow has been the most pirated movie since its release. In its second weekend in projection it fell 68%, the worst figure for a Marvel film, something that has reinforced the piracy argument.
The owners of the rooms also complain
The data has led the National Association of Theater Owners to join in the criticism of the company for “crushing” them, since, as they point out, Marvel movies in recent years have always reached the $ 1 billion worldwide. In addition, they indicate that the damage will be much better appreciated over time.
Disney has tried to defend itself by providing other information. According to the company, the film has entered for the additional cost in the platform 60 million dollars more.
“I have no plans to play Natasha again. I am really satisfied with this movie. I feel like a great way to close this chapter with Marvel. I would love to continue collaborating with them in other ways, because I think they have an incredible wealth of stories, ”Scarlett Johansson confessed to Fatherly. Black Widow was truly special to the 36-year-old actress.
This article originally appeared on The HuffPost and has been updated.