Prior to filing a lawsuit against Disney over Black Widow’s release, Scarlett Johansson tried to negotiate an acceptable sum with the studio.
Scarlett Johansson reportedly moved to get $100 million from Disney before launching her Black Widow lawsuit. Earlier this year, when Disney announced it would release Black Widow both in theaters and on Disney+ via Premier Access, few could’ve guessed how the gamble would turn out. When the Cate Shortland-directed MCU movie debuted in July, it earned the biggest opening weekend of the pandemic with $80 million, plus an additional $30 million in Disney+ grosses. Though there was much debate over whether the streaming release held Black Widow back from more box office glory, the matter seemed settled.
Then, Johansson stunned Hollywood and fans when she sued Disney for breach of contract. The actress, who is also a producer on Black Widow, alleged that she was promised an exclusive theatrical run, and that by moving the film to streaming, Disney had cost her millions of dollars in bonuses. The legal battle has since turned very messy, with Disney implying Johansson was being callous in the face of the pandemic. Johansson in turned slammed Disney’s misogynistic response. Disney is currently looking to settle the Black Widow suit out of court.
This legal battle is definitely happening now, but Johansson evidently tried other means first. According to a new report from The Wall Street Journal (via IGN), Johansson tried to negotiate with Disney with an eye on receiving a sum of $100 million. This total was calculated “based on what the star would receive in a hypothetical global box-office take of $1.2 billion,” based on the totals of past MCU movies. This would be on top of Johansson’s original $20 million salary. The $100 million was a starter number, but Disney never made a counter-offer.
Disney has tried to insist that Black Widow‘s streaming release still means Johansson is entitled to significant backend pay. However, when one realizes the actress was planning for a global haul of over a billion, the optics change somewhat. Currently, Black Widow stands at $372.3 million worldwide, a total that comes nowhere close to even the MCU’s more middle of the road releases. When adding Disney+ money, Black Widow has earned closer to $500 million, but it still doesn’t quite compare to previous MCU box office numbers.
Disney hasn’t disclosed how much money Johansson has earned in bonuses from streaming, so it’s impossible to say just how much she has lost out on. Nevertheless, it’s clear the actress had high expectations for Black Widow‘s performance, and the ultimate release plan didn’t follow through with what she had hoped. The lawsuit is still ongoing with no clear winner in sight just yet. However, Johansson has the support of several industry players like Dune director Denis Villeneuve and fellow MCU star Elizabeth Olsen. Even if she ends up losing, she’s already rocked the world by taking a stand against the most powerful studio out there. In other words, Johansson and Black Widow have still made history.
More: Scarlett Johansson’s Disney Lawsuit May Ruin A Potential Marvel Twist
Source: Wall Street Journal (via IGN)
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Scarlett Johansson Wanted $100M For Black Widow Before Suing Disney