Scarlett Johansson Sues Disney for Releasing Black Widow on Streaming

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Black Widow star Scarlett Johansson has filed a suit against Marvel parent company Disney on Thursday.

The suit is in relation to the movie being made available for streaming on Disney+ at the same time it hit theaters.

It further alleges that the decision for the hybrid release strategy breached her contract and could ultimately cost the star more than $50 million.

Scarlett Johansson on Black Widow

The Wall Street Journal reports that Johansson's lawsuit alleges her initial agreement with Marvel guaranteed the movie would be a theatrical exclusive.

What's more, her salary was reportedly governed by the box office performance of the superhero movie, and the release is projected to cost Johansson more than $50 million.

“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,” the suit alleges.

Scarlett Johansson attends the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party

According to the outlet, Johansson's representatives attempted to renegotiate her contract when news dropped that the movie would be on Disney+ premiere access.

Disney and Marvel did not respond.

It was a long road to the screen for Black Widow. It was initially set to hit theaters in May 2020 but suffered a string of delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Movie theaters around the world were closed, and in many territories, they are just starting to reopen.

The hybrid release model was revealed earlier this year, with Disney adding a $30 surcharge for Disney+ subscribers who wanted to watch the movie at home as opposed to venturing to cinemas.

Black Widow Poster

Premier Access was also used for movies such as Cruella, Mulan, and Raya and the Last Dragon.

When the movie launched earlier this month, it racked up over $60 million from Disney+ Premiere Access in its opening weekend alone.

It also made $80 million at the box office in the U.S.

To date, the movie has made $318 million at the box office, but no up-to-date figures have been revealed for Disney + watchers.

“Today’s announcement reflects our focus on providing consumer choice and serving the evolving preferences of audiences,” said Kareem Daniel, chairman of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution at the time the movie was pushed to Disney+.

“By leveraging a flexible distribution strategy in a dynamic marketplace that is beginning to recover from the global pandemic, we will continue to employ the best options to deliver The Walt Disney Company’s unparalleled storytelling to fans and families around the world.”

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Disney+ Quotes

You know how you call a guy whose wife died a widower? Or, if your parents die, you're an orphan. You know, there's no word for someone whose kids die. Because it's like the worst thing that can happen.

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