What Scarlett Johansson’s lawsuit against Disney means

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During the pandemic, Disney and other media companies released several films both in theaters and on their streaming services.

But, Hollywood talent feels like they’ve been starved of money and pushes back.


What would you like to know

  • During the pandemic, Disney and other media companies released several films both in theaters and on their streaming services. But Hollywood talents feel like they’ve been starved of money and push back
  • According to the actress’ complaint, Johansson’s compensation for Marvel films is largely based on the film’s box office performance.
  • Before the pandemic, blockbusters like the Marvel films were typically shown in theaters exclusively for about 90 days before they were available for home viewing.
  • “Black Widow” opened respectably with $ 80 million in domestic box office revenue during its first weekend in theaters, but quickly dropped in the following weeks.

Now Scarlett Johansson has filed a major trial against Disney over the release of “Black Widow”. Will this be the first of many costumes to follow?

In an interview for “LA Times Today”, film reporter Ryan Faughnder joined host Lisa McRee with the story.

Faughnder said one of the biggest questions about the lawsuit is what Johansson’s contract actually promised.

His attorneys said they had conversations between themselves and Marvel attorneys in 2019 during the first Disney + launch, in which Marvel attorneys promised a theatrical release for Scarlet’s ‘Black Widow’ movie. Johansson, since he was specifying an exclusive theatrical release, which means the 90-day window between theatrical video and home video or streaming. So that’s going to be a big part of that, ”Faughnder said. “Is it enough that all parties involved can be assumed to understand that this meant an exclusive theatrical release when they said a theatrical release?”

Several stars and directors have pushed back on media companies who put their films on streaming services during the COVID-19 pandemic instead of giving them an exclusive month-long theatrical release, which is typical of big movies. Hollywoodians. One of those media companies includes Warner Bros.

Disney issued an emailed statement in response to Johansson’s lawsuit, calling it “sad and painful,” and argued that the company had fully complied with Johansson’s contract.

“Disney pretty much said that she was given $ 20 million upfront to make this movie, and they claim that the streaming allowed her to make some extra money on top of that. So basically , they call one of her biggest stars foodie. And, this comes at a time when Scarlet Johansson won’t be a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the future because her character, as many fans probably know. , dies in Avengers: Endgame. And this latest movie is a prequel to that. So that’s the end of his Marvel career, “Faughnder added.

According to Johansson’s lawyer, Disney is releasing films like “Black Widow” directly on Disney + to increase subscriber numbers and increase the company’s stock price – and that it is hiding behind COVID-19 as a pretext for it. do it.

“When you look at Disney stock price valuations and the way executives are paid, it’s ironic that anyone calls someone greedy in Hollywood at this point. Bryan Lourd has spoken especially on behalf of clients and the talent. community recently. He told us how angry he was with HBO Max and that Warner Bros. movie plan … So, it’s going to be a big deal going forward; it’s not over, and we’re just waiting to see if more stars from Disney and other studio films start to follow suit, ”Faughnder said.

Watch “LA Times Today” at 7 and 10 p.m. Monday through Friday on Spectrum News 1 and the Spectrum News app.


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