American actress Scarlett Johansson kick-started a legal battle against Walt Disney Studios. The tug-of-war took a new turn as Disney Studios attempted to resolve the dispute out of the court.
Black Widow actress in her lawsuit lodged last month, complained that Disney Studio defrauded her of millions of dollars in box office profits by releasing the female superhero film simultaneously to theatres and on Disney Plus. The studios’ move severely reduced the revenue she was entitled to under a contract with the studios, according to the actress, who claims the studios violated the contract’s provisions.
Fuming at Scarlett Johansson, Disney executives demanded that the lawsuit be settled through arbitration. They cited Scarlett Johansson’s contract with Periwinkle Entertainment – the business through which Johansson negotiated her contract and the case’s official plaintiff.
Periwinkle agreed to use arbitration to settle any problems “‘arising out of, in connection with, or relating to’ Scarlett Johansson’s acting services for Black Widow,” according to Disney.
“In a futile effort to evade this unavoidable result (and generate publicity through a public filing), Periwinkle 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,” Disney motion said.
Given that she entered the contract with Marvel, not Disney, Scarlett Johansson did not include Marvel in her lawsuit, explaining that Disney compelled Marvel to violate the terms of her contract.
“Periwinkle’s claims that Marvel breached the Agreement and Disney induced that breach or otherwise interfered with the Agreement have no merit,” Disney said in its motion responding to the assertion of Scarlett Johansson.
During the epidemic, Black Widow was the highest-earning domestic picture, grossing $179.3 million. In their motion filed on Friday, Disney also disclosed that the picture had earned “more than $125 million in streaming and download retail receipts.”