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Wednesday, Dec 6, 2023

Disney Settles ‘Black Widow’ Lawsuit

Walt Disney Co. and actress Scarlett Johansson have agreed to settle her lawsuit filed against the company over claims of breach of contract connected with her performance in the film “Black Widow,” according to media reports.

Terms of the settlement between Johansson and the Burbank entertainment and media giant were not disclosed, Reuters reported.

The actress sued the company in Los Angeles Superior Court in July over allegations that her contract was breached when Disney released “Black Widow” to theaters at the same time as it was made available through its Disney+ streaming service and she lost out on tens of millions of dollars in box office bonuses.

“Black Widow” was released July 9 and brought in $80 million at the domestic box office and $78 million overseas and generated another $60 million from at-home purchases on the streaming service Disney+ the first weekend. The film cost $30 on Disney+.

“I’m very pleased that we have been able to come to a mutual agreement with Scarlett Johansson regarding ‘Black Widow,’” Alan Bergman, content chairman for Disney Studios, said in a statement on Thursday, according to Reuters.

He said the company looked forward to working with Johansson on a “number of upcoming projects,” including previously reported plans for her to produce and star in a film based on Disney’s “Tower of Terror” theme park rides, Reuters said.

Johansson said she, too, was happy to have resolved her differences with the company and looked forward to further collaboration, the wire service said.

“I’m incredibly proud of the work we’ve done together over the years and have greatly enjoyed my creative relationship with the team,” her statement said, Reuters added.

The settlement was announced Thursday. Shares of Disney (DIS) closed Friday up $6.84, or more than 4 percent, to $176.01 on the New York Stock Exchange, on a day when the Dow Jones closed up 1.4 percent.

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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