For nearly a month now, Scarlett Johansson and The Walt Disney Company have been locked in a legal dispute over the decision for Black Widow to go to both theaters and streaming earlier this summer. Johansson is suing the company for allegedly breaching their contract with the release of Natasha Romanoff’s first and only solo film. Amidst a heated back-and-forth, we’ve now learned how lucrative Black Widow has been for Disney.
Disney+ and other streaming services like it are notoriously secretive about how much these at-home releases are making. But in light of Scarlett Johansson’s lawsuit, Disney has revealed how much money Black Widow has made in box office dollars and through their streaming service’s Disney+ Premier Access. According to a motion filed by Disney's outside lawyers this past Friday:
That $125 million amounts to well over four million households tuning into Black Widow at home for the $30 fee over the past five weeks it’s been available through Disney+ Premier Access. Overall, Black Widow has made nearly a half $1 billion between theatrical and streaming profits in the COVID-19 era. It’s not the biggest win of 2021, as that goes to F9: The Fast Saga, which has made $681 million worldwide since its exclusive theatrical May release. Nevertheless, it’s a substantial number for the studio, per Deadline.
When Black Widow was released in early July, Disney offered up the streaming numbers to buff up its opening weekend, adding Disney+ Premier Access’ $55 million to its initial $80 million box office numbers to tout that in spite of the circumstances, it made more than many other MCU movies like Thor: The Dark World, Ant-Man, Ant-Man and the Wasp and Guardians of the Galaxy
In the latest update regarding Scarlett Johansson’s case, The Walt Disney Company is attempting to move its business behind closed doors in New York instead of Los Angeles Superior Court. Johansson and her legal team are asserting that the company’s most recent move is an attempt to “hide its misconduct in a confidential arbitration.”
One of Johansson’s lawyers, John Berlinski, believes that Disney made Black Widow a hybrid release to boost its streaming numbers and looks forward to “presenting the overwhelming evidence” to prove the company’s misstep with the Oscar-nominated star. The actress was reportedly paid $20 million upfront to star in Black Widow but also claims she was promised a release “exclusive” to movie theaters.
As Scarlett Johansson’s case with Disney continues, she and Colin Jost recently revealed that they welcomed a child together named Cosmo. Meanwhile, Marvel’s next film, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, will be released exclusively to theaters on September 3.
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