Disney and Black Widow: the dispute
No doubts: The premiere of Black Widow was not easy. Disney kept pushing back the original scheduled date due to the COVID-19 pandemic, until the day finally came when we could all enjoy the solo story of Natasha Romanov, which began Phase 4 of the MCU.
However, the highlight of the day of its premiere is that it did so simultaneously both in theaters and on the company’s streaming platform, Disney +. This was great news for users, because they could see the film without going to a cinema, especially now that not everyone trusts because of the fear of the virus that is still there, it was not so much for the movie theaters. Although what was most surprising is that for Scarlett Johansson neither.
The actress sued Disney claiming that he had violated one of the rules stipulated in the signed contract. According to the lawsuit filed by her attorney, “Disney intentionally breached the Marvel deal, without justification, to prevent Ms. Johansson from realizing the full benefit of her deal with Marvel.”
That is, the money as a bonus or whatever it is agreed upon would be related to the box office made in theaters, but not to the income produced by watching through the Disney + Premium Access the film estimated at about $ 60 million.
Bob Chapek responds to Scarlett Johansson
The current CEO of Disney +, Bob Chapek has responded in a public way to the current lawsuit imposed by Scarlett Johansson, which is not yet resolved and after some crossing of statements it seems that they want to take it to a more private sphere. Even so, for the head of the company everything could be summarized with the expression: the times change.
And, as Deadline collected, the agreements that many actors signed at the time with Disney to participate in these films were under a situation that is not the current one at all. The reason is already known what it is: the COVID-19 pandemic and the many changes it has caused in society. Some of them bad and some good.
Among the good ones is the acceleration it has caused in the way content is distributed. If before there was a very well defined window system after many years of business, now the rules had to be changed a bit to adapt to the needs and, above all, to be able to continue making more films.
One of those changes was the release simultaneously or almost not only on Disney +, but also on HBO, Apple TV +, etc. A solution that still needs to be outlined, because it is logical that the idea is to find a balance that allows, in case of not noticing the decrease in income that the box office had always generated.
The uncertain future clause
In the same way that Dr. Strange did in the third installment of The Avengers, the actors will now have to analyze each and every one of the possible futures that may occur. This is how they could anticipate a possible change of scenery where they were not harmed, as Johansson seems to feel with Disney.
They could introduce a new clause as an uncertain future and if such a thing happens, then such a solution. Logically it would be difficult to negotiate, but it seems that everything that is happening to more than one does give them an idea of how the whole issue will have to evolve. Because, as much as the actress has gained with a single film what others will not be able to enter in her entire life, she is within her right to demand what she believes is fair.
Still, that statement from CEO Bob Chapek that their actors are the most important thing to them is a little hard to believe. They are, there is no doubt, but the most … if it were so, they would have reached an agreement to also report on what was achieved by Disney +.