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Disney’s Scarlett Johansson Seeks To Break Contractual Compensation “When market consensus shifts, friction is inevitable”

In late July, actress Scarlett Johansson accused Disney of breaking her contract to compensate Black Widow. The actress received a guaranteed share of the earnings from theatrical distribution within a decade, and at the same time the film hit not only the cinemas, but also the Disney + streaming service, which significantly reduced her income in traditional distribution. Johansson will lose $ 50 million on this.

In response, Disney stated, inter alia, that “there is no basis for this action. The lawsuit is painful and disturbing because of the heartless disregard for the frightening and long-lasting global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. ” Johansson’s reaction was “shock”. There were rumors that Emma Stone and Emily Blunt wanted to follow in the footsteps of the actress in a suit (for the hybrid distribution model “Cruelli” and “Jungle Tours” respectively).

Now, Giantfreakinrobot.com has announced that Disney has decided to end their relationship with Johansson after the lawsuit. This meant resigning from collaborative projects in which the actress was to produce a film based on one of the Disneyland films “Tower of Horror,” in which she would also play the lead role.

Sooner or later we’ll see Scarlett in Disney productions.

Of course, when the market consensus changes, such friction is inevitable – says Michao Kozeki, former head of HBO Polska. – Until now, it was known exactly who would win what and when. The actors and their agencies knew how and in what area they could release their part. The market situation did not impose any sudden changes – he adds in an interview with Wirtualnemedia.pl.

But that was all in the past. Disney needs to adapt to changing market conditions. You have to understand that he is trying to get paid for what he does. On the other hand, it is necessary to understand artists who feel that the division of values ​​resulting from their participation is insufficient – emphasizes the expert. He adds that in the current dynamic context, “some decisions made by participants in the ecosystem may create a sense of loss on the part of other participants.”

Each side tries to build a negotiating position. I am convinced that sooner or later we will see Scarlett in Disney productions. I am calm – confirms Kozeki. In his opinion, both sides will reach a compromise because “they have a lot to lose”. While there is no aspect of discrimination against, for example, women, we are no longer talking about business, but about conflicting values, but it confirms it.

starless machine

Writer and film critic Jacob Magmorek is skeptical about the reaction of Disney fans to the decision to stop working with Johansson. We’ll see if Disney realizes they made a mistake, or if the big Marvel series that has swept into theaters over the last decade, generating billions of dollars in revenue and changing the movie scene may go on without the stars because it isn’t. I need a star. – he said in an interview with Wirtualnemedia.pl.

As Majmurek reminds us, Hollywood was based on the “star system” from the very beginning. – There were big names. The audience either loved or hated them or both. It attracted audiences to cinemas and sold out. The critic says that may change now. His group recalls an argument with experts questioning whether the current conflict is a limit, and then hopes for a new era. – Where there are no more movie stars, but IP sells movies. Experts disagree as to whether this is true or not, but it’s likely the Marvel characters and legends that draw audiences to the cinemas, not the big names. Was Doctor Strange successful because he was a Marvel character in the comic book or because he was played by Benedict Cumberbatch? – I’m asking. It’s hard to say whether Marvel actors such as Johansson, Cumberbatch, Robert Downey Jr. or Mark Ruffalo, they don’t have their own audiences that would have come to theaters in smaller numbers had it not been for the superstars they pretend to be with. It is not known how this will be resolved. Does Hollywood really need movie stars? Majmurek asks.

Close the theater window

Will the gap between films shown in cinemas and their appearance on VoD (Window Cinema) platforms narrow or disappear? “I bet it probably won’t be there, or at least it will fall.” Digital media dominate. There is no return to the world as it was. Everything was arranged there: every window behind the other, everyone knew when he was, and that was appreciated by Mikhail Kozeki.

As a result, cinemas can become a form of premium entertainment. – It will be more expensive, we will pay for elitism, the rooms will be of a better standard, new services will appear – Kozeki predicts.

According to Jacob Magmorek, the theme of the cinema window is very important to the future of the film industry. Until now, the movie ecosystem has relied on changing distribution windows: first there was the cinema distribution window, then VoD, DVD and Blu-ray, and finally television. However, even before the pandemic, there were processes that disrupted this system. Big streaming platforms bought movies and immediately put them on their websites, bypassing the cinema window. This sparked protests, and there was a debate in France over whether Netflix movies that had not been shown in theaters could attend Cannes. French operators fought but could not. Billing solutions have also been developed: films are shown simultaneously in cinemas and on platforms or shown in cinemas for a short time, with limited distribution. To qualify for an Oscar, for example, let’s say an amount.

The pandemic has accelerated these processes, especially with the periodic closures of cinemas. In the United States, even the Spanish pandemic, World War II or September 11 did not close theaters. COVID-19 was the first time in history that a tired American could not go to the cinema after work and escape from trouble. It naturally changed the habits of the audience. The film critic adds that it has given an additional boost to platforms looking to monetize VoD exploitation. It ensures the continuation of this trend. Especially in the beating sector. – Seems like they should be distributed in cinemas, but a hybrid system has emerged: the films hit theaters, but at the same time are available in premium service on VoD platforms in some countries for an additional fee. The old editing window system has crashed terribly, which confirms its refinement.

“The ecosystem will become more concentrated and less diverse”

This, in turn, could have far-reaching consequences. A system failure threatens large parts of the movie ecosystem that previously dealt with movie distribution. It also favors market concentration. VoD platforms are large and rich capital institutions. There are many people who can make money from streaming: Amazon, Netflix, Disney +, HBO Go, like Warner Bros. This is a completely different situation than in a system where there are many distributors for each country, even if some of them are branch offices. global companies. With so many platforms dominating the market, the ecosystem will become more concentrated and less diverse, its group warns.

The expert adds, however, that “these operations are not yet closed”. This is far from stable. I will not answer in any way that in the end the whole situation will be revealed. However, we are seeing a major shift that started before the pandemic and has certainly accelerated, he says.

However, according to Galworka, rumors of the imminent death of cinema can be found in fairy tales. Going to the movies is still deeply ingrained in people. The year of the pandemic weakened them, but not entirely. We have Uber Eats in our cell and we can order food, but that doesn’t mean there is no restaurant. Better to go, especially in company, to a restaurant than to eat at home and order through the app. The same goes for cinemas. They perform a social function, detach from reality, and offer incomparably better viewing quality than the most advanced home theater systems that few can afford. The movie market is not going to collapse, people go to theaters. VoD offer does not provide video related social functions. People just have to get out of the house and that’s it.

Also read: Warner Bros. will produce 10 films exclusively for HBO Max in 2022

It’s video on demand

Disney + service. It was released in November 2019. The library includes networks, companies and programs produced, among others by The Walt Disney Studios and Walt Disney Television, and under the Marvel, National Geographic, Pixar and Star Wars brands.

Disney + is currently available in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Austria, France, Spain, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Monaco, Germany , UK and Italy.

goodbye It is not yet known when the platform will appear on the Polish market. Although recently Polish users organized an action on the social network Twitter, in which they demanded the launch of Disney + in our country. However, the American company is silent about this.

Also read: “Loki”: The Disney + hero duality has officially arrived

Disney + brakes in the US, grow in India

In May this year. It is rumored to be the beginning of April on Disney +. The account has 103.6 million subscribers worldwide. This result was lower than Wall Street analysts had expected: they expected the site’s base to have approximately 110.3 million customers.

Average revenue per subscriber decreased by 29%. Up to $ 3.99 / month with the cheaper version of the platform offered in India (Disney + Hotstar).

Infomaton website now He released unofficial numbers indicating that the global number of Disney + subscribers now exceeds 110 million.

According to this information, at the beginning of July this year. In North America, 38 million subscribers were using Disney +. It means that In the last six months, one million new users of the platform hit this market.

It is completely different in India, where Disney + will be held in six months. There was an increase in the number of subscribers by 12 million, which makes this country one of the main areas of website development.

Also read: Pure Report: Streamed content spends over $ 220 billion a year

According to the Mediapanel poll, Netflix remains the undisputed leader in VoD services in Poland, ahead of CDA Premium and Player.

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