Following 20 days after the release of Black Widow, the spy is returning, but this time to a courtroom. Scarlett Johansson, the star of the latest Marvel movie, is suing Disney.
Scarlett Johansson filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court today. The Avengers actress is alleging that the company had breached her contract by releasing her farewell to the Marvel Cinematic Universe on Disney Plus on the same day as the theatrical release.
In the agreement between Marvel Entertainment and Scarlett Johansson, it guaranteed her an exclusive theatrical release. A part of said release, her payment would be based on box-office performance for the action blockbuster. As a result, she is set to lose approximately $50 million or more, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The case could prove to be significant for the film industry, especially depending on how it all ends between Scarlett Johansson and Disney. More studios are moving toward streaming, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic shut theaters down. Some of the biggest releases have opted for exclusive streaming debuts, others followed Black Widow with a duel release between theatrical and streaming, and then others have chosen the traditional path of being only in theaters.
Before the pandemic and hit with multiple delays, Scarlett Johansson was worried about the release of her standalone superhero movie. She had reached out to Disney and Marvel to ensure its theatrical release as Disney started to push harder for its streaming services with its various shows and film productions.
For Marvel, Scarlett Johansson in Black Widow was the only planned release on Disney Plus. The rest of its slate for this year – September’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, November’s Eternals, and December’s Spider-Man: No Way Home – are all set to exclusively hit theaters for each respective release date.
Black Widow had a mighty start for its box office, but soon it dropped off as the pandemic is still hindering the film industry. The Scarlett Johansson movie had an $80 million opening weekend and currently has grossed $318 million worldwide.
Disney has released other films outside of the recent Marvel movie with Scarlett Johansson. Most recently, this past weekend, Jungle Cruise with Dwayne Johnson (Jumanji), Emily Blunt (Sicario), and Jesse Plemons (Breaking Bad) had similar treatment.
Since her debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Scarlett Johansson has been in 2010’s Iron Man 2. Since then, she has been in The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame. She also had an uncredited role in Captain Marvel in the film’s after-credits scene to lead into Endgame.
Black Widow stars Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh (Little Women), David Harbour (Stranger Things), Rachel Weisz (The Favourite), Ray Winstone (The Departed), and O-T Fagbenle (The Handmaid’s Tale). It was directed by Cate Shortland (Berlin Syndrome) and written by Eric Pearson (Thor: Ragnarok), Jac Schaeffer (WandaVision), and Ned Benson (The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby). The film set between Civil War and Infinity War is out now in theaters and Disney Plus for $30.