Scarlett Johansson sues Disney film studio because her film Black Widow can already be streamed while it’s still in theaters. Because the actress shares in the cinema proceeds, she therefore misses out on money. She wants the judge to award her compensation to be determined.
Due to the corona pandemic, Black Widow Not only did it premiere in cinemas at the beginning of this month, but the Marvel film was also immediately available for an additional fee on the Disney+ streaming service. Such a hybrid strategy was taboo for a long time due to pressure from the cinemas, but due to the changed viewing behaviour, film studios are now opting for that option. Johansson’s indictment is therefore closely followed in Hollywood.
The film, whose premiere had already been postponed for a year due to the pandemic, earned Disney more than 130 million euros worldwide in its first week through cinema visits. In addition, another 50 million euros came in via the home viewers of Disney +.
Johansson argues that she is missing out on money because her salary for the film partly depends on the cinema receipts. In addition, according to her, the film increases interest in the streaming platform, without Disney offering extra compensation for it. In addition, streaming makes it easier to make high-quality illegal copies, which means that even more income is lost.
The latter point is endorsed by a cry for help of the National Cinema Association in the USA. In an unprecedentedly sharp criticism, the organization stated that the film performed significantly worse in the cinema than expected in the second week.
Disney rejects Johansson’s complaints and says it will stick to the contract with the film star. In a statement, the company called the charges “sad and distressing at the heartless disregard for the tragic and ongoing global effects of Covid”.