Jason Blum thinks Scarlett Johansson is “really brave” to sue Disney.
The 36-year-old star filed a lawsuit against the studio last week as she claimed their decision to release ‘Black Widow’ on Disney Plus at the same time as its theatrical release violated the terms of their contract and impacted negatively on her salary, and her case has received the backing of the Blumhouse CEO, who thinks the star is fighting for more than just her own fair pay.
He told the Hollywood Reporter: “It’s a much bigger existential fight that she’s really leading.
“It’s a very difficult thing to do, it’s really brave to do and she’s fighting for all of talent.”
The producer thinks streaming services should share revenue with talent but believes they are “betting on” a scenario in the next three to five years which would lead to there being “three or four left pumping content into homes”, and therefore giving them more power and control.
He said: “They’ll be so powerful that they will be able to push the price down of producing, of paying talent, of paying producers, of paying writers, directors.
“I personally don’t think they’ll be able to do it, but that’s what they’re betting on.”
In her original filing, Scarlett claimed her salary for ‘Black Widow’ was tied to how well the movie performed in the box office, and stated that by breaking their contract and putting the film on Disney Plus, Disney have directly impacted her income.
However, Disney later hit back to insist they would be compensating for the lost revenue, said there was “no merit” in Scarlett’s “callous” lawsuit.
They said: “There is no merit whatsoever to this filing. The lawsuit is especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“[Disney] has fully complied with Ms. Johansson’s contract and furthermore, the release of ‘Black Widow’ on Disney Plus with Premier Access has significantly enhanced her ability to earn additional compensation on top of the $20M she has received to date.”
‘Black Widow’ grossed $80 million in domestic box office opening weekend, as well as another $78 million overseas and $60 million from home purchases on the streaming platform.