Scarlett Johansson, who plays Natasha Romanoff in the Marvel films, has sued Disney for the damage caused by the launch strategy of the film she stars in, ‘Black Widow’. The multinational released the film simultaneously in cinemas and on its premium streaming channel .
This decision, according to the actress’s lawsuit, has slowed box office income in the face of the increase in Disney + turnover, and has meant a loss of nearly 50 million dollars in bonuses for Johansson. The actress alleges that the company breached the contract by undermining box office sales, which is the measure that producers use to calculate the bonuses they must pay to their cast in addition to the cache.
After hearing the news, the company’s shares fell 1.31% on the New York Stock Exchange to $ 176.02, leading the entertainment giant to lose everything that had been advanced in the week.
The second Marvel film with the lowest box office
The plaintiff received guarantees from Disney that the premiere would enjoy a theatrical release in style, which made it clear that the big screen would have the exclusive of ‘Black Widow’. However, it is not until March when the company announces that the premiere would occur simultaneously in cinemas and streaming , with an additional fee of $ 30 , as collected by Forbes .
This situation could be the culprit that the film has positioned itself for the moment as the second lowest grossing in the Marvel franchise, only surpassed by The Incredible Hulk . So far, the film starring Johansson has only grossed $ 318 million worldwide, a far cry from the $ 1 billion the actress needed to receive the $ 50 million bonus. Notably, only nine of the 24 films in the franchise exceeded this threshold.
On the contrary, according to the company itself in a statement, ‘Black Widow’ raised $ 60 million in Disney + Premier Access only in its first weekend.
The multinational, far from being silent, accused Johansson of being insensitive to the pandemic situation: “The lawsuit is especially sad and distressing because of its insensitive disregard for the horrible and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Forbes reports .
However, prioritizing the premium streaming service over the box office has a big problem. Scarlett Johansson is not the only one affected by the low figures of the cinema.
The rest of the workers who are part of the creation of the work, and who do not have a star salary, also suffer the consequences. Scriptwriters, digital animators or editors, among others, depend to a great extent on the proper functioning of the premiere on the big screen.
For this reason, it is foreseeable that, if the demand goes ahead, the industry contracts will begin to have a specific clause to avoid this type of conflict or, on the contrary, one of the two parties will be seriously affected, either the cinema or streaming .