Disney and Scarlett Johansson to settle a lawsuit

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Scarlett Johansson and Walt Disney have recently been in a legal dispute because of the release of the Marvel superhero movie Black Widow.

The Black Widow actress sued Disney two months ago condemning it for breaking her contract when it offered the movie on its Disney+ streaming service while it was still showing in cinemas.

According to her, the decision showcased that she was deprived of possible paychecks. However, the details regarding their deal have not been revealed.

“I’m very pleased that we have been able to come to a mutual agreement with Scarlett Johansson regarding Black Widow,” said Alan Bergman, content chairman for Disney Studios.

He further added: “We appreciate her contributions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and look forward to working together on a number of upcoming projects, including Disney’s Tower of Terror.”

Moreover, Scarlett Johansson also said that she was content to have resolved her issues with Disney and looked forward to furthering collaboration.

“I’m incredibly proud of the work we’ve done together over the years and have greatly enjoyed my creative relationship with the team,” her statement said.

The Marvel superstar starred in Black Widow as the Russian assassin-turned-Avenger superhero of the film’s title. She had played this role in nine Marvel movies.

She filed the complaint in Los Angeles County Superior Court in July.

The complaint said that the actress was promised by Marvel Studios – owned by Disney, that Black Widow would be a “theatrical release”.

She said she had understood this to mean a “window” of time would pass before it would be streamed – a period that has traditionally lasted 90 days.

To this, the entertainment giant said at the time that it had “fully complied” with her contract and that her case had “no merit whatsoever”.

Black Widow was released on 9 July in cinemas and Disney+ simultaneously. It had set a box office record for a release during the pandemic in its initial weekend, making $218m (£161m). 

But then the box office receipts started to fall sharply. Now, the movie has made more than $378m worldwide, according to film tracking service Box Office Mojo.

In addition to this the film generated almost $60m through streaming purchases in the first 20 days of its release, Disney has said.

Because of the pandemic, various Hollywood studios chose to avoid cinemas, which had been closed mostly, and release films online instead.

Today majority of the cinemas have reopened. So, Disney along with Warner Bros has chosen to continue a dual release strategy for their major films.

 

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