Earlier today, it was revealed that Scarlett Johansson has filed a lawsuit against the Walt Disney Company for a breach of contract over the release of “Black Widow” on Disney+ Premier Access, because the film failed to hit certain benchmarks that would have resulted in millions of dollars of backend compensation.

The Walt Disney Company has now responded to the lawsuit with a statement:

There is no merit whatsoever to this filing. The lawsuit is especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Disney has fully complied with Ms. Johansson’s contract and furthermore, the release of Black Widow on Disney+ with Premier Access has significantly enhanced her ability to earn additional compensation on top of the $20M she has received to date.”

While Disney+ Premier Access has impacted the box office potential, there are lots of other reasons why the film has failed to hit its milestones.  Consumer confidence in going to the cinema is still not back to 2019 levels, plus without a release in China and with restrictions in some regions still in place, all of these factors will have reduced the box office numbers for the film.

It’s unusual for a studio to reveal how much an actor has been paid for a film, but is clearly putting the number out in public, so people don’t think she’s not been paid for the film.

“Black Widow” was the fourth film released on Disney+ Premier Access, and this week will see “Jungle Cruise” released in both cinemas and on Disney+ Premier Access.  With the pandemic still causing issues around the world, there are still challenges for film studios, and it’ll be interesting if any more titles are announced for Disney+ Premier Access after this week.

What do you think of Disney’s response to the lawsuit?

Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Roger@WhatsOnDisneyPlus.com Twitter: Twitter.com/RogPalmerUK Facebook: Facebook.com/rogpalmeruk

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  1. Diana July 30, 2021

    It's hard to imagine that releasing to Disney Plus at the same time as Box Office release doesn't impact existing contracts that were negotiated prior to Covid. It would make sense that these contracts would be re-worked prior to these changes being made. Wasn't this movie delayed to allow for Box Office release? It did come as a surprise to see it on Disney Plus so fast. Sad these contract details weren't addressed prior to release.

  2. Ricky July 31, 2021

    Seriously, I hope this doesn't hurt badly Disney Plus, because I don't want to lose it, otherwise I'd be really pissed at Scarlett!