Egypt received plan from DR Congo to resume AU-sponsored GERD talks: FM Shoukry    Remittances from Egyptians abroad grow 13.2% in FY2020/21– central bank    Egypt's Dabaa nuclear plant: contribution to social and economic development    Hezbollah-organized fuel arrives in crisis-hit Lebanon    UN chief urges 'rapid' emission cuts to curb climate change    With foreign funds frozen, Afghan aid groups stuck in limbo    Cote d'Ivoire's Haller scores 4 goals as Ajax routs Sporting Lisbon in CL    Cairo welcomes UNSC presidential statement on GERD    Last-gasp Rodrygo goal sees Real Madrid beat Inter 1-0    Egypt's PM attends signing of ministerial agreement to implement WB-funded project to reduce air pollution in Greater Cairo    Egypt's new capital a gateway for Sinai Peninsula development – minister    Monetary Policy Committee of Egypt's CBE to review interest rates on Thursday    Egyptian expats' remittances hike to all-time high of $31.4 bln in FY 2020/21: CBE    Covid-19 vaccines prevent 125,000 deaths, 25 mln infections    Live score: Club Brugge v Paris Saint-Germain (UEFA Champions League)    Egypt records highest daily rise of coronavirus cases since mid-June    The Egyptian Mawlawiya troupe's concert at Al-Gumhouriya Theatre is a must go    Don't miss the AUC's webinar on Human Rights and the Built Environment Lifecycle    Development report launched    A cover for terror    Borhane Alaouié (1941-2021): The auteur's shadow    Jordan hosts energy meeting today to discuss transporting Egyptian gas to Lebanon    Russia permits airlines to resume flights from 49 cities to Egypt    Egypt's Abu Soma Development partners with KOMPASS Education    Sisi: coronavirus vaccines in Africa 'far less' than actual needs    Egypt gives emergency use approval for locally manufactured Sinovac/VACSERA COVID-19 vaccine    Egypt makes COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for all those aged over 18 in education sector    Orange Egypt Introduces Amazon Prime Video    Tokyo Olympics: Cautious opening ceremony, shy start for Egyptians in competitions    Mallawi Museum in Upper Egypt holds recycling workshop for children during Eid Al-Adha    Egypt keen on stable tax policies to attract more investors: Finance Minister    Sudan declares state of emergency as water goes beyond Merowe Dam capacity    Niagara Falls illuminated in Egyptian flag to mark 23 July Revolution anniversary    Capital flows into EM keep recovering after March 2020 slump: Central Bank of Egypt    1 child orphaned every 12 seconds due to COVID-19-associated death: World Bank    Egypt, Japanese Olympic Committee discuss boosting sports cooperation    Ethiopia ready to resume dam talks with no legally binding agreements: Ethiopian official    US emphasises AU's role in mediating Ethiopian damdispute    Sunken city of Thônis-Heracleion in Egypt's Abu Qir bay yields new archaeological treasures    New films, concerts, and destinations for Eid Al-Adha holidays    Egypt, Oman discuss enhancing bilateral economic, investment relations    Al Ahly v Kaizer Chiefs: Cairo giants eye 10th CAF Champions League title    Tunisia hopes to have a UN role in resolving Egypt-Ethiopia dam dispute    Egypt denounces Ethiopia's move to start second filling of giant dam    APO Group enters new exclusive agreement with Getty Images on African press releases and images    On International Museum Day, Egypt opens two new museums at Cairo Airport    Egypt's Ahly is establishing a new stadium, expected to be 'sports complex'    Old Cairo's Al-Fustat will be revamped on Egyptian President's directives    







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Scarlett Johansson sues Disney over its streaming release of 'Black Widow'
Published in Ahram Online on 30 - 07 - 2021

Scarlett Johansson is suing the Walt Disney Co. over its streaming release of "Black Widow," which she said breached her contract and deprived her of potential earnings.
In a lawsuit filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, the "Black Widow" star and executive producer said her contract guaranteed an exclusive theatrical release. The Wall Street Journal first reported the news of the lawsuit.
Johansson's potential earnings were tied to the box office performance of the film, which the company released simultaneously in theaters and on its streaming service Disney+ for a $30 rental.
"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 said. "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."
Disney said the lawsuit has "no merit whatsoever."
"The lawsuit is especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic," Disney said in a statement. "Disney has fully complied with Ms. Johansson's contract and furthermore, the release of Black Widow on Disney+ with Premier Access has significantly enhanced her ability to earn additional compensation on top of the $20M she has received to date."
After its release was delayed more than a year because of COVID-19, "Black Widow" debuted to a pandemic-best of $80 million in North America and $78 million from international theaters three weeks ago, but theatrical grosses declined sharply after that. In its second weekend in release, the National Association of Theater Owners issued a rare statement criticizing the strategy asserting that simultaneous release lends itself only to lost profits and higher quality piracy.
Once taboo, hybrid theatrical and streaming releases have become more normal for many of the biggest studios during the pandemic, with each adopting its own unique strategy. This weekend, Disney is employing the same strategy with "Jungle Cruise," and next weekend Warner Bros. big budget "The Suicide Squad" opens both in theaters and on HBO Max.
The revised hybrid release strategies over the 16 months have occasionally led to public spats from not just theater owners, but stars, filmmakers and financiers who are unhappy with the potential lost revenues and the alleged unilateral decision-making involved.
The WSJ said Warner Media, for instance, paid over $200 million in "amended agreements" with talent over its decision to release its entire 2021 slate simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max.
But none have been as public as Johansson's lawsuit. The actor, who has been in nine Marvel movies going back to 2010's "Iron Man 2," quickly became a trending topic on Twitter on Thursday after news of the lawsuit broke.
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