American actress Scarlett Johansson appears disillusioned as she has taken Walt Disney Company to court over breach of her contract, as, according to her, she was promised her female superhero film Black Widow will exclusively be released to theatres.
The actress sought monetary and punitive damages from Disney, a parent company of Marvel Studios.
Scarlett Johansson also executive produced her Avengers' character's first solo film - Black Widow, in addition to playing the superspy, Natasha Romanoff.
According to the lawsuit filed to Los Angeles County Superior Court on Thursday, Marvel Studios promised she will receive her compensation for Black Widow based largely on box office receipts.
Scarlett Johansson made the company pledge that the flick will have an exclusive theatrical release to "maximize these receipts, and thereby protect her financial interests."
But, the Walt Disney Company released the movie to its streaming platform Disney+ on the same day as a theatrical release, which was the breach of the contract, said the attorneys of the 36-year-old actress.
According to the complaint, the Disney Company did this to lure the viewers away from theatres to the streaming service so that they can earn a bigger share of revenues. The Black Widow film performed phenomenally at the box office in the first week but its grosses sharply slumped right in the second week.
Quite unhappy with the development, Scarlett Johansson said in her complaint that the Disney company did this on purpose to grow its subscriber base and "substantially devalue Ms Johansson's agreement and thereby enrich itself."
“In the months leading up to this lawsuit, Ms. Johansson gave Disney and Marvel every opportunity to right their wrong and make good on Marvel’s promise,” the lawsuit filed by Scarlett Johansson stated.
“Disney intentionally induced Marvel’s breach of the Agreement, without justification, in order to prevent Ms. Johansson from realizing the full benefit of her bargain with Marvel.”
In the new emerging scenario caused by the Covid-19 pandemic in the entertainment industry, the big studios, large production houses and filmmaking enterprises have reversed their strategy to salvage their dwindling revenues. They have opted to release their films dually to theatres and streaming services, simultaneously or with a gap of some days.
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