It's been nearly a month since Scarlett Johansson filed a lawsuit against Disney for the company's decision to release Black Widow in theaters and on Disney+ Premiere simultaneously. In its most recent move, Disney appealed to move the legal battle to New York, in an attempt to keep everything under wraps, and in doing so Disney might have just exposed itself, which allowed Johansson's lawyers to attack.
What will come of Johansson's lawsuit against Disney?
After exiting the Marvel Cinematic Universe following the premiere of Black Widow, Scarlet Johansson and her legal team have found themselves in a fight as big as the Avengers' battle against Thanos. Johansson is now fighting against a real-life giant in the House of Mouse.
In a report from Deadline, Disney just happened to reveal important information in its motion to move the arbitration to New York. Disney added that Black Widow made $367 million worldwide at the box office and $125 million from Disney+ Premiere. The latter is a huge amount. It is also a surprising revelation given streaming platforms are usually hesitant to reveal such information, although was likely required to be disclosed as part of the lawsuit.
Scarlett Johansson's main lawyer, John Berlinski, then later issued a response. He criticized Disney for attempting to "hide its misconduct" and that The Walt Disney Company is afraid of "public litigation".
Black Widow made pandemic box office records when it premiered. However, the numbers quickly plummeted in its second week. Many cite Disney's simultaneous release strategy, which it has defended previously, as the reason for this.
Although Disney isn't the only one to release its movies on streaming platforms at the same time as in theaters, it's the only one to face a lawsuit and continuously find itself in hot water.
Perhaps this is because, unlike Disney, Warner Bros. was reportedly willing to amend contracts as part of its dual-release strategy, which might have been to blame for The Suicide Squad's lackluster box-office numbers despite its critical acclaim.
With that said, we don't think that this is the last we'll hear of lawsuits similar to Scarlett Johansson's. Several key figures within the movie industry have expressed their support for the former MCU star's decision to stand her ground. In fact, there were reports that Emma Stone and Emily Blunt planned to join Johansson in her lawsuit. However, things have since worked out between Stone and Disney as there are now plans for a sequel to Cruella.
At the moment, Disney has proposed an October 15 hearing in DTLA. Scarlett Johansson's legal team has yet to respond to this request.