《黑寡妇》剧照 图源:漫威

Scarlett Johansson is suing Walt Disney.

The Marvel star filed a lawsuit Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging her contract was breached when the company released “Black Widow” on its streaming service Disney+ at the same time it debuted in theaters.

Johansson claims her agreement with Disney’s Marvel Entertainment guaranteed an exclusive theatrical release for her solo film, and her salary was based, in large part, on the box-office performance.

“It’s no secret that Disney is releasing films like ‘Black Widow’ directly onto Disney+ to increase subscribers and thereby boost the company’s stock price – and that it’s hiding behind Covid-19 as a pretext to do so,” John Berlinski, an attorney at Kasowitz Benson Torres who represents Johansson, told CNBC.

《黑寡妇》海报 图源:漫威

Once Johansson heard that “Black Widow” would be released on streaming and in theaters on the same day, she attempted to negotiate with Marvel. Disney and Marvel did not respond, the lawsuit claims.

“There is no merit whatsoever to this filing,” Disney said in a statement Thursday. “The lawsuit is especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Disney has fully complied with Ms. Johansson’s contract and furthermore, the release of Black Widow on Disney+ with Premier Access has significantly enhanced her ability to earn additional compensation on top of the $20 [million] she has received to date.”

Similar contract issues have cropped up in the last year, as studios have shifted their release strategies during the pandemic.

Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins were reportedly each paid $10 million after Warner Bros. decided to release “Wonder Woman 1984” in theaters and on HBO Max in December. Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake were also rumored to have been seeking bonuses after Universal’s “Trolls World Tour” was released on video on demand in early 2020 instead of theatrically.
据报道,在华纳兄弟公司去年12月决定在影院和HBO Max上映《神奇女侠1984》后,盖尔·加朵和帕蒂·詹金斯每人获得了1000万美元(约合人民币6500万元)的片酬。也有传闻称,由于环球影片的《魔发精灵2》在2020年初以视频点播形式上映,而不是院线上映,安娜·肯德里克和贾斯汀·汀布莱克一直在争取分红。

Disney long held off on releasing major titles like “Black Widow” after the pandemic decimated the movie theater industry. Theaters around the world were closed temporarily to prevent the spread of Covid-19. But as coronavirus restrictions eased, vaccination rates rose and the industry began to bounce back, Disney opted to debut new blockbusters in theaters and through Disney+ for $30 simultaneously.

Disney said this hybrid release model was a temporary pandemic fix.

Johansson, who has become a staple in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, negotiated her contract to include a percentage of “Black Widow’s” theatrical gross. Before the pandemic, the film was expected to secure a hefty sum at the box office.

However, the coronavirus pandemic has put a damper on ticket sales, as cases continue to surge, and the additional availability of the film in the home video market meant it only hauled in $80 million during its opening weekend. While that figure pales in comparison to other Marvel features, it remains the highest opening figure of any film released after March 2020.

Domestically, the film has garnered a little over $150 million during its first three weeks in theaters. Disney reported “Black Widow” tallied $60 million from sales on Disney+ during its opening weekend, but has not shared additional information about its digital performance.

Previous Marvel films have averaged more than $100 million in ticket sales during their opening weekends and nearly $1 billion over the course of their theatrical runs.

Notably, only eight of Marvel’s 24 theatrical releases have grossed less than $700 million at the global box.





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