The titanic fight between Scarlett Johansson and the almighty Disney, which promised to change the rules of the game in Hollywood forever, has ended in a draw. The actress and the studio announced on the afternoon of this Thursday (early morning in Spain) the signing of an agreement to park the lawsuit that the interpreter filed in July in the Los Angeles County Superior Court before the company’s decision to release simultaneously Black widow, blockbuster starring the actress, in movie theaters besieged by the pandemic and in the service of streaming from the entertainment giant. Johansson demanded compensation for the damage that this change of plans, designed to promote the Disney + digital platform, was going to cause to his pocket. In the contract signed four years ago, a percentage of the income that the protagonist had had to come from what was collected in theaters; at that time, the only opening window for the film.
Like almost everything in this story, that analysts ran this summer to fix as a before and after in the industry, the amount of money that has pushed her to change her mind has not been made public. Nor was it known how much the actress was losing, which she received, according to the producer in an unprecedented maneuver, 20 million dollars of base salary, salary located at the top of the table in Hollywood. The specialized press calculated between 30 and 50 million the decrease in the income of the interpreter as a result of the double premiere. Black Widow was made available to Disney + users at a price of 30 Dollars.
“I am very happy that we have resolved our differences. I am incredibly proud of the work I have done over the years and have really enjoyed the creative work carried out with the team. I hope our collaboration will continue for a long time, ”said Johansson in a statement. Alan Bergman, president of content for Disney Studios, has spoken in similar terms, also with the hope that the collaboration will continue in the future. Specifically, with Tower of Terror, one of those cross-inspired projects in which everything stays at home and The company likes so much lately: the film is based on an attraction at Disneyworld, a park in Orlando (Florida).
Seen in perspective, it seemed clear that the study could not bear the negative publicity of a confrontation with a superstar with whom many other well-known faces did not hesitate to sympathize. And that before the peace pipe, Disney was unusually belligerent with the actress when she filed the lawsuit; They accused her of “cruel indifference to the horrible and prolonged global effects of the pandemic” in the business of the cinematographic exhibition.
Those effects were the same that delayed the release of the film. It was scheduled for May 2020 and finally hit theaters and on the platform on July 9. In its first weekend, it grossed 80 millions of dollars in the United States, a disappointing figure for a Marvel universe production (the ninth in which Johansson played the same character). In August, the company declared to have raised 125 millions in streaming and 367 in theaters. Again, little money compared to that made by previous films.
As the magazine recalls The Hollywood Reporter , a leading outlet in Los Angeles and the first to report on the agreement, Warner Bros., which decided to premiere on 2020 its entire catalog with the same hybrid model, agreed to pay substantial sums (up to 200 millions of dollars) to compensate their stars for lost revenue. Disney has shown other blockbusters this year (Cruella, Jungle Cruise) following that pattern, although without legal consequences.
The studio plans to return to the path of exclusive theatrical screening in its next event-films, including the long-awaited Steven Spielberg’s version of the musical West Side Story.
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