Back in July, Hollywood was rocked by the news of Scarlett Johansson filing a lawsuit against the Walt Disney Company. According to the claims, the actor felt that her contract was breached when she was not given the chance for the proper back end payments that she felt she was due from the release of Black Widow, primarily because of the movie being simultaneously released in theaters and via Premier Access on Disney+. Now, almost exactly two months later, the case has been settled, and both sides have reached a settlement.
News of this development comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter, which says that a deal has been brokered between the two sides. Unfortunately, the trade report does not include any details about the terms of the settlement, including the dollar figure that rectified the situation.
The conflict began with bad blood right off the bat, as Disney's first response to Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow lawsuit was with a statement that called the legal action "callous" in light of the on-going pandemic, and subtly accused her of avarice. While negotiations continued behind closed doors over the last few months, the situation sparked a larger conversation in Hollywood about proper compensation for performers in an age when streaming statistics are becoming as significant a metric in the industry as the box office figures.
Taking all things into consideration, one has to wonder what kind of role the success of Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings had on the negotiations between the two sides. Unlike Black Widow, the new blockbuster from Marvel Studios was released exclusively in theaters, and not only did it avoid the massive second week plummet that plagued the box office performance of the Scarlett Johansson film, but now it has claimed the position of being the number one domestic release of 2021.
To date Shang-Chi has made $196.2 million at the box office, and has been the highest earning title in theaters for four weeks in a row. It is on track to be the first movie since the start of the pandemic to make over $200 million in North America alone – and one can imagine that Scarlett Johansson's lawyers used that fact as evidence in support of their client's case in negotiations.
This news is only just now breaking, so we'll have to wait and see if the details are leaked, and what kinds of long term impacts it will have – both on the business side of the industry, and potentially on the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
NJ native who calls LA home; lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran; endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.
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