Scarlett Johansson is suing Disney after the company simultaneously released her film “Black Widow” on its Disney+ streaming platform and in theatres, according to court documents shared with Insider.
More actors need to do that as well.
Johansson argues that Disney violated her contract, potentially bilking her out of significant income, because her salary was largely based on box-office performance. A source told the paper the actor could be missing out on $50 million.
Disney+ and other streaming services took the unprecedented step and debuted movies at the same time online and in theatres in 2020 because of the pandemic.
But the move prompted backlash from the filmmaking world, including from directors Christopher Nolan and Patty Jenkins, who helmed the “Wonder Woman 1984” project. Many speculated how traditional filmmaking could be affected by releasing high-budget, high-quality movies online.
By limiting the profitability of a movie. Many people, from top stars to directors to producers, have their contracts TIED to its box-office totals.
By moving the films to streaming so quickly, it undermines their theatrical revenue… and the paycheques to all those people (and movie theaters)… deliberately!
Unless her contract stated they would not release it on streaming I don’t think she has a leg to stand on and all that happened is she signed a poorly written contract that did not take into account something that was very likely.
Really hard to say, we just need more details to know. I figure this will be like most things, the only winners are the lawyers.
I remember seeing an article (either in Variety or THR, I can’t remember) when Warner Bros. announced that all of their 2021 movies would duel-premiere in theaters and on HBO Max. It said that a lot of the people involved in those movies were upset with the change saying it would hurt the movies’ finances. And seeing how “Space Jam: A New Legacy” bombed, I don’t think this will be the only lawsuit involving seeing like this
@Vknid, i’m pretty sure her contract said cinema release only
1) The contract was signed way before pandemic when dual releases were unheard of
2) Marvel was adamant to push Black Widow’s release rather than having it release may 2020, july 2020, november 2020, may 2021 directly on Disney+, which is telling me if they were willing to push the release date over a year, the plan was to have as many theaters open as possible so as to not release it on Disney+, but i guess Disney got greedy and did it anyway
If it was an unheard of thing I would think there was an assumption it would be in theaters only since that was really the only option at the time and probably did not call it out specifically. And that might be why we have a lawsuit. It might be the difference of assumptions between Disney and her side. In other words, there was the baked in assumption “theaters only” without saying the words and Disney knowing that probably decided to release on Disney+ thinking they can get by on a technicality.
I generally don’t feel bad for movies stars losing money cause they’re still millionaires in the end, but in this particular case it’s clearly a push to boost Disney+. If it’s in the contract that there was going to be a certain amount of time between a theatrical and streaming release, they should’ve honored that, or considered asking for a revision of the contract. COVID isn’t new and was going on throughout production, so they had time to get that cleared up.
People dragging Scarlett over this is defending Disney’s shit practices.
The president of the Screen Actor’s Guild on Friday slammed Disney for “bullying” Marvel actress Scarlett Johansson in a public statement it made about the “Black Widow” star’s lawsuit against the company last week.
A big bully? The Empire of the Evil Mouse? NO!
Gabrielle Carteris said Disney “should be ashamed” of its “gender-shaming” tactics, which suggested that the actor had a “callous disregard” for the dangers of Covid-19 to the moviegoing public.
“Actors must be compensated for their work according to their contracts,” she said in a statement. “Scarlett Johansson is shining a white-hot spotlight on the improper shifts in compensation that companies are attempting to slip by talent as distribution models change.”