Scarlett Johansson is really channeling Black Widow as of late, by suing Disney. The Marvel star is suing the parent company for a breach of contract, i.e. releasing Black Widow on OTT. The lawsuit says Johansson’s payment will largely be drawn from theatrical earnings. She would thereby lose her earnings if the movie is released digitally.
The pandemic has been a boon for the OTT industry, as theatres shut down. Production companies had no other option but to release their films online. This also gave users the comfort of watching the latest releases, right from home. Black Widow was simultaneously released in both theatres and on Disney+.
Originally scheduled to release last May, Black Widow was put off until 9th July for its hybrid release. It has since turned over a whopping $80 million at the Box Office in North America alone on opening. But the earnings started to fall drastically since a week of its release. Johansson is reportedly displeased that Disney decided to go ahead with the hybrid plan, knowing that the theatre industry has taken a blow. The Black Widow character was the lone female in the Marvel Universe until Wanda was introduced. The series WandaVision, launched also Disney+ received rave reviews.
The lawsuit clearly blames Disney for using this tactic to promote its streaming service. The aim was to ultimately bring in more subscribers to the platform, by making Black Widow exclusive. Disney has since responded in an unbothered manner, saying the case has “no merit.” Scarlett Johansson has already been paid $20 million as salary, but will lose a significant amount of money as alleged in the lawsuit. Though Disney says the revenue online will add to her income, Johansson’s attorney says that Disney is obligated to “honor its contracts.”