Disney resolves dispute with Scarlett Johansson over “Black Widow” movie



Scarlett Johansson poses on the red carpet during the Oscars arrivals for the 92nd Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, United States on February 9, 2020. REUTERS / Mike Blake

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 30 (Reuters) – Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) and actress Scarlett Johansson have resolved their legal dispute arising from the release of their Marvel superhero film “Black Widow”, the company jointly said and the artist Thursday.

Terms of the settlement between Disney and Johansson’s Periwinkle Entertainment company were not disclosed.

Johansson, 36, sued Disney in July, accusing the entertainment giant of breaking its contract when the company offered the film on its Disney + subscription streaming service at the same time the film was released in theaters. Read more

Her lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, argued that “Black Widow’s” double exit strategy had reduced her pay, which she said had to be based in part on box office revenue. exclusive screening in cinemas.

Disney retorted at the time that there was “no basis” for the lawsuit and claimed the studio had complied with the terms of Johansson’s contract.

The company also said at the time that Johansson’s trial demonstrated a “ruthless indifference” to the risks to film audiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The dispute has been closely watched for possible ramifications in Hollywood as media companies seek to expand their streaming services by offering premium content to attract subscribers.

“Black Widow,” which debuted in theaters July 9 and for $ 30 on Disney +, has grossed more than $ 378 million in theatrical revenue worldwide, according to movie tracking service Box Office Mojo . The feature also made around $ 60 million from streaming purchases in its first 20 days of release, Disney said.

Johansson played the role of a fictional Russian assassin turned Avenger superhero, a role she played in nine Marvel films.

“I am very happy that we were able to come to a mutual agreement with Scarlett Johansson regarding ‘Black Widow’,” Alan Bergman, president of content at Disney Studios, said Thursday in a statement.

He said the company looks forward to working with Johansson on “a number of upcoming projects,” including previously reported plans for her to produce and star in a film based on the theme park rides “Tower of Disney’s Terror.

Johansson said she too was happy to have resolved her differences with the company and looked forward to continuing the collaboration.

“I am incredibly proud of the work we have done together over the years and have really enjoyed my creative relationship with the team,†said his statement.

Johansson topped Forbes magazine’s list of the world’s highest-paid actresses in 2018 and 2019, with pre-tax profit reportedly totaling $ 56 million from June 2018 to June 2019.

Reporting by Lisa Richwine in Los Angeles and Bhargav Acharya in Bengaluru; Editing by Steve Gorman and Sandra Maler

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