Black Widow was one of those movies that didn’t get a chance to be really successful. It had to be pushed back several times as a result of the ongoing pandemic, and it was finally released in theaters and on the Disney+ streaming service in July 2021.
This kind of hybrid release was adopted because the pandemic forced theaters to shut down all over the globe. As a result, many studios were forced to release their films online via their streaming services. Others also opted for a hybrid release plan that’s similar to that of Black Widow.
Know that all of WB’s 2021 slate was given a theatrical plus streaming deal. But HBO Max didn’t charge users extra to view their new movies. All subscribers could watch those movies without any extra cost. But that wasn’t the case for Disney+ as users had to pay about $30 more on top of the subscription costs to watch those new movies via Premiere Access.
But the decision wasn’t smooth sailing for HBO Max. Some actors, directors, etc., weren’t happy with the decision. And the same has now happened with Disney as Black Widow star Scarlett Johansson has filed a lawsuit against the House of Mouse.
Scarlett Johansson has said in her lawsuit that she believes Black Widow releasing on the streaming service Disney+ was a breach of contract. This was because Johansson’s earnings were dependant on the box office success of the movie.
As a result, she lost out on earnings since Disney gave people the chance to watch the movie from their homes. Now Disney has issued a response to Johansson’s lawsuit over the release model of the Black Widow movie.
Brooks Barnes, a reporter for The New York Times, was the one who shared Disney’s statement regarding the matter on Twitter. The house of mouse claims that they adhered to Johansson’s contract. Also, they claim that Johansson’s salary wasn’t negatively affected. Instead, it increased as a result of the Disney+ release.
Here’s Disney’s statement about the matter:
“There is no merit whatsoever to this filing. The lawsuit is especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 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 she has received to date.”
The lawsuit rocked everyone from fans to Disney and more. It was surprising and unexpected, especially after the recent hype of the Black Widow movie. Now, Disney certainly doesn’t seem to be holding back or mincing their words. Their statement is clear, and it addressed the main allegation of Scarlett Johansson.
Also, from the way Disney is charging, it certainly looks like Natasha Romanoff at the least is done in the MCU. As for Scarlett Johansson’s future with Disney, even that is looking bleak. Right now, it will be interesting to see how this entire thing plays out.
From the side of the viewers, many surely loved the option to watch Black Widow from the comfort of their homes in this raging pandemic. This is because many aren’t yet comfortable going out to theaters to watch movies.
However, there’s no way to determine who is right in this lawsuit. After all, we don’t know the full truth in this entire situation. But it must be said that the situation is definitely unfortunate for Scarlett Johansson.
After all, she has been a part of the MCU for more than a decade now. Also, she clearly has enjoyed portraying Natasha Romanoff throughout the years. So for this to be her final parting gift is truly unfortunate.
Overall, right now, the entire situation is a wait-and-watch thing.
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