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Scarlett Johansson sues Disney over ‘Black Widow’ release

  • July 30, 2021

Actress Scarlett Johansson on Thursday sued the Walt DisneyCo. over its streaming of the Marvel superhero movie “Black Widow” at the same time it played in movie theaters. Her lawyers allege that this breached her contract and deprived her of potential earnings.

The “Black Widow ” star and executive producer said in her lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, that her contract guaranteed an exclusive theatrical release and the dual release strategy had reduced her compensation, which was based partly on box office receipts.

“In the months leading up to this lawsuit, Ms. Johansson gave Disney and Marvel every opportunity to right their wrong and make good on Marvel’s promise,” the lawsuit said.

“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.”

Disney dismisses allegations, says Johansson earned $20 million to date

Disney said there was “no merit” to the lawsuit and that it had complied with her contract.

The movie’s release was delayed considerably as a result of the COVID pandemic, and then launched simultaneously in movie theaters and on the Disney Plus streaming service. 

“The lawsuit is especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Disney said in a statement. 

“Disney has 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 $20M (€16.8 million) she has received to date.”

  • Marvel’s superstar Stan Lee

    Marvel’s real-life superhero: Stan Lee

    Born in 1922 in New York, Stanley Martin Lieber was at the center of the Marvel universe. Although he did not establish the publishing house, he was responsible for many of its superheroes — such as the Fantastic Four, Hulk, Iron Man and the X-Men — figures that often challenge heroic archetypes. The 2017 book “The Marvel Age of Comics 1961-1978” is the perfect introduction to Lee and his work.

  • Marvel’s superstar Stan Lee

    The golden age of comics

    Written by Marvel author and editor Roy Thomas and published in several languages, the book traces Stan Lee’s impact on global pop culture. Through its 400 pages, it draws readers into the world of “mighty heroes, misunderstood monsters and complex villains” in stories of fantasy, magic, and science fiction, mixing classical epic plots with modern narratives.

  • Marvel’s superstar Stan Lee

    ‘The Man’ and the ‘King’

    Although the popularity of comics blockbusters has generated millions of new fans worldwide recently, the recently published volume intends to appease even Lee’s hardcore devotes by including niche characters and stories from behind the scenes. Essays and special segments are dedicated not only to Stan “The Man” Lee but also his colleagues such as Jack “King” Kirby, who did this drawing in 1971.

  • Marvel’s superstar Stan Lee

    Comic legends

    The book revolves around central Marvel characters: Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four, the Hulk and the X-Men. Large illustrations and many smaller image series represent the many superhero stories Marvel’s drawers and writers serve up to a mostly — but not only — younger audience in comics and films.

  • Marvel’s superstar Stan Lee

    The final clash

    Along with Lee and Kirby, the comics artist and writer Steve Ditko was the third architect of the fantastical Marvel universe. This drawing is titled “The End … At Last!” and is taken from the last Dr. Strange story Ditko created in July 1966.

  • Marvel’s superstar Stan Lee

    A last farewell

    What was Stan Lee’s own superpower? Perhaps his tireless attitude. The “founding father of American comics” was active until the end of his life. In 2017, he played minor roles in four movies based on his characters. In 2018 Lee made cameo appearances in “Deadpool 2” and the “Avengers” sequel. He died in November 2018 at the age of 95.

    Author: Jochen Kürten (jt)


“Black Widow” released in theaters on July 9 and for a $30 (approximately 25 euros) charge on the Disney+ streaming service. 

Disney has been trying the hybrid strategy for some movies during the COVID-19 pandemic in an attempt to boost its streaming service while movie theaters across the globe were closed.

Trying to boost nascent streaming service, or just flexibility in a pandemic?

Johansson’s lawsuit claims that Disney wanted to drive audiences toward Disney+, “where it could keep the revenues for itself while simultaneously growing the Disney+ subscriber base, a proven way to boost Disney’s stock price.”

The suit seeks unspecified damages which are to be determined at trial.

After being delayed for more than a year due to coronavirus, “Black Widow” debuted to a pandemic-best of $80 million in North America and $78 million from international theaters on its opening weekend. But theatrical grosses declined sharply after that, making it less lucrative than some other Marvel blockbusters.

The movie generated $60 million through Disney+ purchases, Disney said.

“Black Widow” is the story of a Russian assassin turned Avenger and Johansson has played the character in nine Marvel movies.

dvv/msh (AP, Reuters)

 

Article source: https://www.dw.com/en/scarlett-johansson-sues-disney-over-black-widow-release/a-58699345?maca=en-rss-en-all-1573-rdf

Scarlett Johansson sues Disney over ‘Black Widow’ release

  • July 30, 2021

Actress Scarlett Johansson on Thursday sued the Walt DisneyCo. over its streaming of the Marvel superhero movie “Black Widow” at the same time it played in movie theaters. Her lawyers allege that this breached her contract and deprived her of potential earnings.

The “Black Widow ” star and executive producer said in her lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, that her contract guaranteed an exclusive theatrical release and the dual release strategy had reduced her compensation, which was based partly on box office receipts.

“In the months leading up to this lawsuit, Ms. Johansson gave Disney and Marvel every opportunity to right their wrong and make good on Marvel’s promise,” the lawsuit said.

“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.”

Disney dismisses allegations, says Johansson earned $20 million to date

Disney said there was “no merit” to the lawsuit and that it had complied with her contract.

The movie’s release was delayed considerably as a result of the COVID pandemic, and then launched simultaneously in movie theaters and on the Disney Plus streaming service. 

“The lawsuit is especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Disney said in a statement. 

“Disney has 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 $20M (€16.8 million) she has received to date.”

  • Marvel’s superstar Stan Lee

    Marvel’s real-life superhero: Stan Lee

    Born in 1922 in New York, Stanley Martin Lieber was at the center of the Marvel universe. Although he did not establish the publishing house, he was responsible for many of its superheroes — such as the Fantastic Four, Hulk, Iron Man and the X-Men — figures that often challenge heroic archetypes. The 2017 book “The Marvel Age of Comics 1961-1978” is the perfect introduction to Lee and his work.

  • Marvel’s superstar Stan Lee

    The golden age of comics

    Written by Marvel author and editor Roy Thomas and published in several languages, the book traces Stan Lee’s impact on global pop culture. Through its 400 pages, it draws readers into the world of “mighty heroes, misunderstood monsters and complex villains” in stories of fantasy, magic, and science fiction, mixing classical epic plots with modern narratives.

  • Marvel’s superstar Stan Lee

    ‘The Man’ and the ‘King’

    Although the popularity of comics blockbusters has generated millions of new fans worldwide recently, the recently published volume intends to appease even Lee’s hardcore devotes by including niche characters and stories from behind the scenes. Essays and special segments are dedicated not only to Stan “The Man” Lee but also his colleagues such as Jack “King” Kirby, who did this drawing in 1971.

  • Marvel’s superstar Stan Lee

    Comic legends

    The book revolves around central Marvel characters: Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four, the Hulk and the X-Men. Large illustrations and many smaller image series represent the many superhero stories Marvel’s drawers and writers serve up to a mostly — but not only — younger audience in comics and films.

  • Marvel’s superstar Stan Lee

    The final clash

    Along with Lee and Kirby, the comics artist and writer Steve Ditko was the third architect of the fantastical Marvel universe. This drawing is titled “The End … At Last!” and is taken from the last Dr. Strange story Ditko created in July 1966.

  • Marvel’s superstar Stan Lee

    A last farewell

    What was Stan Lee’s own superpower? Perhaps his tireless attitude. The “founding father of American comics” was active until the end of his life. In 2017, he played minor roles in four movies based on his characters. In 2018 Lee made cameo appearances in “Deadpool 2” and the “Avengers” sequel. He died in November 2018 at the age of 95.

    Author: Jochen Kürten (jt)


“Black Widow” released in theaters on July 9 and for a $30 (approximately 25 euros) charge on the Disney+ streaming service. 

Disney has been trying the hybrid strategy for some movies during the COVID-19 pandemic in an attempt to boost its streaming service while movie theaters across the globe were closed.

Trying to boost nascent streaming service, or just flexibility in a pandemic?

Johansson’s lawsuit claims that Disney wanted to drive audiences toward Disney+, “where it could keep the revenues for itself while simultaneously growing the Disney+ subscriber base, a proven way to boost Disney’s stock price.”

The suit seeks unspecified damages which are to be determined at trial.

After being delayed for more than a year due to coronavirus, “Black Widow” debuted to a pandemic-best of $80 million in North America and $78 million from international theaters on its opening weekend. But theatrical grosses declined sharply after that, making it less lucrative than some other Marvel blockbusters.

The movie generated $60 million through Disney+ purchases, Disney said.

“Black Widow” is the story of a Russian assassin turned Avenger and Johansson has played the character in nine Marvel movies.

dvv/msh (AP, Reuters)

 

Article source: https://www.dw.com/en/scarlett-johansson-sues-disney-over-black-widow-release/a-58699345?maca=en-rss-en-all-1573-rdf

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