Scarlett Johansson mentioned by means of her lawyer Saturday that Disney is “trying to hide its misconduct” with a request to maneuver her “Black Widow” breach of contract lawsuit to arbitration.
“After initially responding to this litigation with a misogynistic attack against Scarlett Johansson, Disney is now, predictably, trying to hide its misconduct in a confidential arbitration,” Johansson’s lawyer John Berlinski mentioned in a press release supplied to TheWrap Saturday, in response to Disney’s Friday movement to compel arbitration.
“Why is Disney so afraid of litigating this case in public? Because it knows that Marvel’s promises to give ‘Black Widow’ a typical theatrical release ‘like its other films’ had everything to do with guaranteeing that Disney wouldn’t cannibalize box office receipts in order to boost Disney+ subscriptions. Yet that is exactly what happened – and we look forward to presenting the overwhelming evidence that proves it.”
A consultant for Disney didn’t instantly reply to TheWrap’s request for remark Saturday.
Johansson’s lawsuit, which was filed July 29, claims her contract was worded round an unique theatrical launch for “Black Widow” — which was launched concurrently in theaters and on Disney+ Premier Access on July 9 — and her compensation included vital bonuses primarily based on the movie’s field workplace grosses that insiders informed the Wall Street Journal may add as much as $50 million.
(Per Disney’s Friday submitting, as of Aug. 15, “Black Widow” has “grossed more than $367 million in worldwide box-office receipts and more than $125 million in streaming and download retail receipts.”)
In Disney’s preliminary response, the corporate mentioned the lawsuit had “no merit whatsoever” and known as Johansson “callous” for asking for greater than her upfront wage of $20 million.
According to a movement to maneuver Johansson’s lawsuit to arbitration filed with the Los Angeles Superior Court by Disney’s attorneys on Friday, Johansson (referred to by her loan-out firm’s title, Periwinkle, within the paperwork) “agreed that all claims ‘arising out of, in connection with, or relating to’ Scarlett Johansson’s acting services for ‘Black Widow’ would be submitted to confidential, binding arbitration in New York.”
Per the submitting, “Whether Periwinkle’s claims in opposition to Disney fall inside the scope of that settlement will not be a detailed name: Periwinkle’s interference and inducement claims are premised on Periwinkle’s allegation that Marvel breached the contract’s requirement that any launch of ‘Black Widow’ embody a ‘wide theatrical release’ on ‘no less than 1,500 screens. The plain and expansive language of the arbitration agreement easily encompasses Periwinkle’s Complaint.”
Disney says that, “in a futile effort to evade this unavoidable result (and generate publicity through a public filing), Perwinkle excluded Marvel as a party to this lawsuit — substituting instead its parent company Disney under contract-interference theories. But longstanding principles do not permit such gamesmanship.”
According to the doc, Johansson’s “two causes of action are entirely dependent on its untenable claim that Marvel breached” its contract with the actress “by releasing ‘Black Widow’ simultaneously in theaters and on Premier Access on Disney+. The contract does not mandate theatrical distribution — let alone require that any such distribution be exclusive.”
Disney’s attorneys state that Johansson’s “claim that Marvel breached the requirement that ‘Black Widow’ be released on ‘no less than 1,500 screens’ by releasing it on more than 30,000 screens is thus as indefensible as it sounds, as Disney and Marvel will demonstrate in arbitration.”
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.
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