Scarlett Johansson and the Walt Disney Company settled the lawsuit over her Black Widow pay, the two sides announced Thursday. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Johansson sued Disney in late July, arguing that she never agreed to have the film released on Disney+ Premiere Access the same day as its theatrical release. A PR battle ensued, with Disney arguing that Johansson was paid $20 million for making the movie.
"I am happy to have resolved our differences with Disney," Johansson said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. "I'm incredibly proud of the work we've done together over the years and have greatly enjoyed my creative relationship with the team. I look forward to continuing our collaboration in years to come."
Disney Studios chairman Alan Bergman also said he was "pleased" the two sides worked out their differences. "We appreciate her contributions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and look forward to working together on a number of upcoming projects, including Disney's Tower of Terror," Bergman said. A few weeks before Johansson filed the lawsuit, she reportedly signed on to produce and star in a movie based on the Tower of Terror ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios.
Johansson's lawsuit made headlines as many in Hollywood wondered how it would impact future deals between major stars and studios as they consider closing the theatrical exclusivity window. In the case of Black Widow, there was no theatrical window, as the film was made available through Disney+ Premier Access for $30 the same day it hit theaters. Disney argued that this deal hurt Black Widow's box office potential just to raise awareness of the streaming service. In its response, Disney noted Johansson was paid $20 million for the film and argued that Johansson's contract didn't keep the studio from releasing it to streaming.
The lawsuit also started an ugly PR battle, with the two sides exchanging shocking statements. In its first response, Disney surprisingly called the lawsuit an "especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic." Bryan Lourd, the co-chairman of Johansson's agency CAA, quickly fired back, calling out Disney for "shamelessly and falsely" accusing Johanson of "being insensitive to the global COVID pandemic, in an attempt to make her appear to be someone they and I know she isn't."
After Black Widow's opening weekend, Disney claimed Black Widow grossed $60 million from Disney+ Premier Access. In a later court filing, Disney said the movie made $125 million from Premier Access sales. The movie has grossed $378.7 million worldwide theatrically so far, including $183.6 million domestically. It was the top-grossing movie of the year domestically until Disney's other Marvel movie, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, crossed that mark. The movie, which was not released on Disney+ Premier Access, has made $199.3 million domestically and $366.4 million worldwide.0comments