An actor who takes on Walt Disney is brave, though not necessarily foolhardy. Scarlett Johansson has field a lawsuit against the Magic Kingdom over its decision to release her ‘Black Widow’ movie simultaneously in theaters and on its own streaming service.
Johansson says Disney’s split release lessened her pay, which was tied to boc – office sales but not showing on Disney+, under a contract drawn up before Covid – 19 hit. The cost of angering the Mouse House isn’t small. Disney+ had over 100 million subscribers, thanks to franchises like Star Wars and Marvel. It says the lawsuit it ‘sad’ and ‘distressing’.
The dispute is worth watching because what happens to the ‘Black Widow’ star may give an insight into the power dynamics of streaming. Netflix and Amazon.com are also paying up for talent to feed their digital services. Netflix recently signed Steven Spilberg and expanded its contract with Disney alum Shonda Rhimes. In fighting a boc – office superhero, even a giant can overplay its hand.