Disney just settled the lawsuit actress Scarlett Johansson brought against it for allegedly breaching her contract. While the exact terms of the deal haven’t been revealed, the AVClub claims the actress received $40 million. Initially, Johansson was suing for $50 million.
Back in July Disney released Black Widow on streaming and in cinemas at the same time. The film was one of the major hits of the post-pandemic summer. However, several weeks later, Johansson’s team of lawyers filed a lawsuit claiming that the studio guaranteed her an exclusive theatrical release when she signed her deal. By simultaneously distributing Black Widow on streaming and in cinemas, Disney effectively sabotaged its box office performance to help the success of its streaming platform Disney+. While the truth about the contract violation may be debatable, the effects of the Black Widow’s hybrid release aren’t. For comparison, we only need to look at Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. That film came out exclusively in cinemas and earned over $200 million domestically. It stayed at the top of the weekend box office four weekends in a row. Meanwhile, Black Widow spent a single weekend at the top of the box office and grossed $183 million domestically.