LOS ANGELES – Scarlett Johansson has settled a high-profile dispute with The Walt Disney Company over the release of “Black Widow”, a Marvel movie.
The terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Johnson has played the Black Widow role in numerous Marvel Studios movies. In July, she sued Disney, claiming that Marvel violated her contract.
The lawsuit claimed that Disney had released the film on Disney+ at $30 the same time the film premiered. This defrauded her of box office bonuses, which in turn led to a decline in ticket sales and rampant piracy.
According to reports Johnson’s camp believes that mixed release will give out bonuses of approximately $50 million. Disney denied that her claims were bogus.
Johnson released a statement saying that she was pleased to end their differences with Disney. Johnson said, “I am very proud of the work that we have done together over these years and I enjoy my creative relationship” with the team. I look forward to the next years of our collaboration.”
The lawsuit highlights a long-running debate in Hollywood over how talent, including first-line stars and directors, should be compensated when their works are published on streaming media platforms. Most of the top stars receive profit participation or box office bonuses to reward their success. This is known as “back end” compensation. Streaming media companies often pre-purchase the back-end of celebrities.
Many film companies decided to release movies simultaneously online and in theaters during the pandemic. This had an impact on traditional business models. Warner Bros. paid $200 million to the artists after WarnerMedia, its parent company, made all its movies available on HBO Max.
Johnson’s dispute against Disney was unique because it was public. Most contract disputes can be resolved by negotiation or arbitration rather than litigation.
This lawsuit caused a dispute between Disney and Johnson. Bryan Lourd (Bryan Lourd), her agent at CAA, was also involved in public disputes.
Some experts predict that Johnson’s volley could lead to another wave of lawsuits against Hollywood talent. This has so far not happened. Emma Stone’s “Clura”, released at Disney+’s $30 price, was recently negotiated with the sequel to the villain’s origin story.
Johnson’s character was unfortunately killed in “Avengers: Endgame”, however, Johnson has an ongoing project with Disney: a film based on Disney’s “Tower of Terror” theme park tour.
In a statement, Alan Bergman, Disney Studios content chairman, stated that he was happy to have reached a consensus on the ‘Black Widow.’ “We are grateful to her for her contribution in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We look forward to working together on many upcoming projects including Disney’s Tower of Terror.”