Actress Scarlett Johansson’s lawsuit against The Walt Disney Co. over the simultaneous “day-and-date” release on July 9, 2021, of the motion picture Black Widow in movie theaters and on the Disney+ streaming service generated extensive media coverage when it was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court. Periwinkle Entertainment Inc. v. The Walt Disney Co., 21STCV27831.
In the July 29 complaint Johansson alleges that, in order to generate new subscribers for Disney+, Disney intentionally interfered with her talent agreement with Disney affiliate Marvel Studios for her featured role in Black Widow — and thus allegedly induced Marvel to breach a promise in the Johansson/Marvel agreement for the film to be initially distributed in exclusive “wide theatrical release,” for about 90 to 120 days. (Periwinkle Entertainment is Johansson’s loan-out company.) The day-and-date release “dramatically decreased Box Office revenue for the Picture” and thereby box-office bonuses for Johansson, the complaint claims.