Scarlett Johansson Asked For $100 Million After Black Widow Shifted To Disney+ Simultaneous Release - Report

This included a $20 million starting salary and $80 million in what was projected to be the star's box office net.


New details have come to light pertaining to Black Widow actress Scarlett Johansson's lawsuit against Disney in which she claims she is owed more money due to the superhero film debuting simultaneously in theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access. The big takeaway from the report is that Johansson's team reportedly asked for $100 million in payment.

The Wall Street Journal reports that, after Disney/Marvel announced that Black Widow would have a simultaneous release, Johansson's lawyers came to the movie studio asking for an $80 million payment to make up for the shift to at-home streaming. To come up with the number, Johansson's team estimated that Black Widow would have made $1.2 billion at the box office in pre-pandemic times. Johansson would also be paid $20 million as a starting salary for a total of $100 million for Black Widow.

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WSJ reported that $100 million was a "starting point" in the negotiations with Disney/Marvel. However, Disney never made a counteroffer, according to the report.

In the end, Johansson was indeed paid $20 million for her starring role in Black Widow, according to Disney, which added that the actress stands to make even more from other revenue streams.

Black Widow made $372 million worldwide at the box office to rank as one of the lowest-performing MCU movies ever, but this was during the pandemic when basically all box office figures were down substantially. The movie pulled in $60 million from Disney+ With Premier as well, right out of the gate.

As for why the contract negotiations fell apart--ultimately leading to this high-profile lawsuit--WSJ said one factor was "uncertainty" over which of Disney's top bosses would negotiate the deal. Disney CEO Bob Chapek was busy leading the company through the pandemic, so he reportedly gave negotiating power to those below him. But this plan didn't exactly work out, either, it seems, as Disney movie bosses like Alan Bergman and Kareem Daniel "didn't return calls or emails from the Johansson team or engage in serious talks," the report said.

Outgoing Disney CEO Bob Iger reportedly opted to stay out of the matter; he was on a boat when the lawsuit came to a head, according to the report. And Disney Studios executive Alan Horn was not involved in the case, either; he is expected to step down with Iger later this year.

The full WSJ report is filled with many more fascinating details on the Johansson case and the wider fallout, like how Avengers directors Joe and Anthony Russo might not make a new Marvel movie with Disney as a result. Go read the story here at WSJ.

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