Disney Seeks to Force Scarlett Johansson Suit to Arbitration

Disney has filed a motion to force Scarlett Johansson into a private arbitration to address whether she is owed millions from the hybrid release of “Black Widow.”In the motion, attorney Daniel Petrocelli also argues that Disney lived up to its obligation to give the film a “wide theatrical” release, but that nothing in the contract required the release to be exclusive to theaters.Johansson filed a bombshell lawsuit on July 29, arguing that the decision to simultaneously release “Black Widow” in theaters and on Disney Plus cannibalized the film’s box office revenue and cost her tens of millions of dollars.In the motion to compel arbitration, Petrocelli argued that “Black Widow” actually performed well, considering the ongoing pandemic.

The film opened on July 9 and grossed $80 million domestically in its opening weekend — well below pre-pandemic Marvel standards, but $10 million more than Universal’s “F9” — which was an exclusive theatrical release.

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