LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Scarlett Johansson, star of the Marvel superhero film “Black Widow,” sued the Walt Disney Co on Thursday, alleging that the corporation breached her agreement when it supplied the movie on streaming at the exact same time it played in theaters.
Disney stated there was “no merit” to the lawsuit, indicating it had complied with her deal. It added in a assertion that the release of the motion picture on its streaming system experienced “significantly improved her (Johansson’s) means to make extra payment on prime of the $20 million she has been given to day.”
Johansson’s complaint, submitted in Los Angeles Excellent Court, argued that the twin release strategy of “Black Widow” had reduced her compensation, which was centered partly on box business receipts from what was intended to be an distinctive run in cinemas.
“Black Widow” debuted on July 9 in theaters and for a $30 charge on the Disney+ streaming assistance. Disney has been screening the hybrid pattern for some movies all through the coronavirus pandemic as the organization experimented with to strengthen its streaming support though many movie theaters close to the earth were being shut.
Johansson’s lawsuit, submitted in Los Angeles Outstanding Court, promises that Disney wanted to steer audiences toward Disney+, “where it could preserve the revenues for by itself while simultaneously expanding the Disney+ subscriber foundation, a demonstrated way to strengthen Disney’s stock rate.”
“Second, Disney wanted to significantly devalue Ms. Johansson’s arrangement and therefore enrich itself,” the lawsuit mentioned.
The suit seeks unspecified damages to be established at trial.
The final result could have broad ramifications in Hollywood as media companies try to build their streaming products and services by offering premium programming to lure subscribers.
The Disney statement said the lawsuit was “especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and extended international results of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“Black Widow,” the tale of the Russian assassin turned Avenger, pulled in $80 million at U.S. and Canadian box offices more than its debut weekend. The film also generated $60 million through Disney+ purchases, Disney reported.
Johansson has performed the character in nine Marvel movies.
Other movie studios together with AT&T Inc’s Warner Bros. have negotiated payments to actors and many others involved in films that were being initially planned for theaters only but also available on streaming during the pandemic.
Johansson’s suit reported her representatives approached Disney about resolving the issue but had been “largely ignored.”
The actress topped the Forbes journal checklist of the world’s maximum-paid actress in 2018 and 2019. Johansson’s pre-tax earnings totaled $56 million from June 2018 to June 2019.
Disney also is giving a similar-day streaming launch starting off Friday for “Jungle Cruise,” an action-adventure motion picture starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt.