Hollywood shook its feet this afternoon. The great love between Disney and Scarlett Johansson fell into oblivion the moment the star sued the company for failure to comply with the terms of the contract. It is about the big box office money that “Black Widow” lost due to the simultaneous premiere on VOD.
There are more and more indications that “Black Widow” will turn out to be Marvel’s biggest financial slip-up in recent years. Opening weekend at $ 158 million earned in the box office was not tragic, but in the following weeks the production went downhill. Disney quickly stopped boasting about how much the prequel dedicated to Natasza Romanoff earned from downloads on the Disney + platform. Most people assumed it was because of unsatisfactory numbers. However, the reason could be quite different. Because this is how the label provided Scarlett Johansson with the weapon.
The actress, who plays the title role, has been part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe since 2010. Until recently, only delight was flowing towards her from Disney. It was even said that someday, a member of the Avengers group might return to playing after all. At present, however, it seems absolutely unlikely. And it’s not about the dubious quality of “Black Widow” or the hypothetical boycott of fans furious at Marvel Studios for wasting the Taskmaster character. No, the reason is much more prosaic. It is about a lot of money.
As reported by Wall Street Journal portal, the actress’s lawyers filed a lawsuit on her behalf in the Los Angeles Supreme Court today. Johansson accuses the former employer of breaching the terms of the contract, which assumed the premiere of “Black Widow” only in cinemas. Why is it so important? It is an extremely popular record in contracts signed by labels with the biggest stars. He assumes that a significant portion of the actor’s salary is contingent upon the film’s performance at the local or global box office. If the production turns out to be a hit, confirming the star status of the cast, the earnings of such characters as Robert Downey Jr or Scarlett Johansson reach a level normally unattainable. Otherwise, the Hollywood studio at least compensates for the failure of its film with its earlier savings.
The actress claims that the release of the production opening phase 4 of the MCU simultaneously on VOD and in cinemas automatically lowered the earnings of the “Black Widow” at the box office. Which at the same time significantly reduced her wage. Disney has not commented on the whole situation yet, but at first glance it is in a lost position. This is indicated, for example, by the behavior of other corporations that decided to adopt a similar strategy.
WarnerMedia for exactly this reason renegotiated the contracts of all its stars, which had a percentage of the earnings from the cinema distribution entered there. According to WSJ information, the company paid the actors over $ 200 million on this account. Moreover, Scarlett Johansson has reportedly picked up the topic of contract renegotiation with Marvel and Disney. The chief lawyer of Dom Pomysłów promised her such a possibility in an e-mail in March 2019 in the event of a change in the distribution model. For an incomprehensible reason, the Mickey Mouse label ignored these requests, and this was to cost Scarlett Johansson up to $ 50 million.