A few days following the first court hearing in Johansson’s lawsuit against Disney for the company’s handling of Black Widow‘s release, the matter has been settled. Both parties have released statements – complete with assurances that they intend to work together again in future (Disney, not letting a promo opportunity go by).
“I am happy to have resolved our differences with Disney,” Johansson said in her statement. “I’m incredibly proud of the work we’ve done together over the years and have greatly enjoyed my creative relationship with the team. I look forward to continuing our collaboration in years to come.”
Said Alan Bergman, chairman of Disney Studios Content: “I’m very pleased that we have been able to come to a mutual agreement with Scarlett Johansson regarding Black Widow. We appreciate her contributions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and look forward to working together on a number of upcoming projects, including Disney’s Tower of Terror.”
Johansson was looking for a $US50 million payout from Disney after alleging that the House of Mouse’s simultaneous release of Black Widow in both cinemas and streaming service Disney+ (as a premium) cost her back-end profits that would have come with a theatrical release. The star’s suit stated that she had been promised the film would open “exclusive to movie theatres”. Furthermore, Johansson pointed specifically at Disney execs, alleging that salary jumps and grants that came with Black Widow‘s Disney+ drop were a big factor in the release strategy.
Disney came out swinging, stating that Johansson had already been paid $US20 million for the film and alleging that the Oscar nominee’s suit showed “callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
And when Johansson’s team accused Disney of responding with “a misogynistic attack,” well, yeah, things had gotten ugly fast.
While the details of the settlement are being kept secret, Deadline is reporting that “the deal will run to more than $40 million”, the amount of which “will not be paid by Disney in a single lump sum.”
Black Widow was released in both cinemas and Disney+ on July 9th, with the pandemic still raging on and cinemas in various markets affected. Made with an estimated budget of around $USS200 million, the film has made $US378 million in worldwide box office receipts. Disney’s August filing for the suit stated that the film had earned a further $US125 million thanks to streaming and download retail.