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Stars vs Hollywood studios vs streaming

Something changed since Scarlett Johansson sued Disney on Thursday, for alleged breach of contract, when simultaneously releasing Black Widow in theaters and streaming, on Disney +.

Those close to the star assure that Scarlett Johansson missed out on earning about $ 50 million.

“It is no secret that Disney is releasing movies like Black Widow directly on Disney + to increase subscribers and therefore boost the company’s share price, and which hides behind Covid-19 as a pretext to do so, “said John Berlinski, Johansson’s attorney, in a statement to Variety.

Scarlett Johansson in “Black Widow”. The star claims she lost a fortune from the parallel streaming premiere. Photo Marvel / Disney

The issue had already been discussed, not specifically because of Scarlett, but because Hollywood stars are reluctant to the new distribution paradigms, clearly accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

What is under discussion is the way in which the actors of the so-called List A are (re) compensated for their work, now that they are seen simultaneously in movie theaters and via streaming.

It is that many, if not almost all, are included in the profit share of the films (the term is back-end) as part of their contracts.

It is speculated that Emma Stone will follow in Johansson

It is speculated that Emma Stone will follow in Johansson’s footsteps. His case with “Cruella” would be similar. Disney Photo

It’s simple: Actors lower their salaries, but get a percentage of gross box office revenues from cinemas, whether in North America alone or in the global market, or they keep their salary high (US $ 20 million) and a lower percentage of those. Gross profit.

Because as brutes, the actors and their lawyers have nothing.

But if movies gross less in cinemas, the profit is lower for them too.

Mat Belloni, former editor of The Hollywood Reporter, said Emma Stone is considering suing Disney for the premiere of Cruella on Disney +. The reason would be the same: the theatrical and streaming releases would have cut their earnings at the box office.


For “Gravity”, Sandra Bullock took about $ 70 million. Photo Clarín Archive

Sandra Bullock made an arrangement that allowed him to take away, for Gravity, (2013) about US $ 70 million.

But that was a few years ago.

From now on, what?

In the present, Netflix it has eliminated those forms of compensation. And the decision by Warner Bros. and Disney to launch their films simultaneously on their own streaming services turned everything upside down (let alone what the theater owners say). Warner, when sending all his 2021 releases (17) to HBO Max, when he warned that theaters would only operate with limited capacity for much of the year, he decided to “compensate” the stars of those films.

Keanu Reeves asked for "Matrix 4" an arrangement similar to Gal Gadot

Keanu Reeves asked for “Matrix 4” an arrangement similar to Gal Gadot’s for “Wonder Woman 1984.” Photo WB

Will Smith, Denzel Washington, and Keanu Reeves got their full back-end on the films Warner Bros. released on their new service, but not before screaming to the sky. Keanu will be very good as Neo, but when he found out that WB gave the director of Wonder Woman 1984, Patty Jenkins, and star Gal Gadot $ 10 million each as part of the HBO Max launch, asked for compensation for Matrix 4.

In his lawsuit, Johansson alleges that his representatives’ attempts to renegotiate his compensation in light of the launch of Black Widow on Disney + they were “ignored.”

Disney in a statement responded that Johansson has already received $ 20 million for Black Widow and that the launch of Disney + “significantly improved their ability to earn additional compensation.”

To be continue.


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