Bob Chapek, CEO of Disney, spoke about the choice to simultaneously release Black Widow in theaters and streaming. A decision that prompted Scarlett Johansson to sue the company.
During a telephone conversation with its shareholders relayed by Deadline, The Walt Disney Company boss, Bob Chapek, said there was, contrary to rumors, no argument between him and Bob Iger (the former CEO of the firm and the current executive chairman and chairman of the Board of Directors) regarding new methods of distributing their films.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdowns have indeed shaken up the way cinematographic works are distributed. Several studios have thus chosen to offer their feature films both in the cinema and on their streaming platforms.
“Bog Iger and I, along with the cast team, determined this was the right strategy for us to reach the largest possible audience.”, Insisted Chapek. A method that was therefore applied to Black Widow, which did not please her star, Scarlett Johansson.
The latter therefore lodged a complaint against the studio, considering that the release of the Marvel film on Disney + constituted a breach of her contract which provided, according to her, for an exclusively theatrical release, on which she received a percentage of the revenue.
Without naming Scarlett Johansson directly, the CEO addressed the situation saying:
We have found ways to fairly compensate our talents and since the onset of COVID we have signed hundreds of contracts with them which have, overall, gone very, very smoothly.
Bob Chapek also made a point of recalling that, at the time of these lines, with 175.8 million dollars of revenue in the United States, Black Widow was “the best-performing film at the national box office since the start of the pandemic”.
And to warn that, henceforth, Disney would choose the distribution channel of its productions on a case-by-case basis and according to what its leaders “believe they are in the best interest of the film and their partners”. That has the merit of being clear !
The Black Widow trailer: