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[MCU Movies] Closed Spoilers for Eternals & Spider-Man

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  • Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular
    ScarJo is one of, if not the biggest actress in the biz at the moment. Even if they tried to screw her here, it wouldn't look good and they burn a bridge for her to ever work under Disney again. I'm almost certain Disney would settle and cut her some money, if only so they don't have literal Avengers going around doing negative press for them. It would look bad for any would-be stars Disney is trying to get in the door for future projects. I mean, that's the hope anyways

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  • TomantaTomanta Registered User regular
    I remember contract requirements being given as a reason that New Mutants got a theatrical release instead of being dumped onto streaming. Whether that was an actor contract or not, I couldn't say (seems unlikely).

  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    Disney is like 40% of the film market right now, just in volume of film releases. At this point, it'd potentally hurt ScarJo more to pass up every Disney movie than it would for Disney to never have ScarJo in a film again. There's a lot of actresses out there; but there's not a lot of film studios.

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  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    edited July 29
    I don't thin Scar would have a contract considering profits, because Hollywood Accounting is a thing. It's prpbably based on revenue

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  • OrcaOrca Registered User regular
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    I don't thin Scar would have a contract considering profits, because Hollywood Accounting is a thing. It's prpbably based on revenue

    I would hope not anyway.

    I'd love to see anti-trust force apart production and distribution again. Them being twined together like this is a benefit only to them. And The Mouse in particular is just way too big these days.

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  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    Orca wrote: »
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    I don't thin Scar would have a contract considering profits, because Hollywood Accounting is a thing. It's prpbably based on revenue

    I would hope not anyway.

    I'd love to see anti-trust force apart production and distribution again. Them being twined together like this is a benefit only to them. And The Mouse in particular is just way too big these days.

    Considering the court case rolling back restrictions on studios owning theaters, I'd say we're going the wrong way.

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  • BlarghyBlarghy Registered User regular
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    I don't thin Scar would have a contract considering profits, because Hollywood Accounting is a thing. It's prpbably based on revenue

    Most of the tricks Hollywood has pulled in the past with this sort of thing is well known to anyone with any experience, so the only people who tend to get caught up in being hoodwinked by "Hollywood accounting" are people who just sign whatever is put in front of them. Scarjo has more than enough money, representation, and experience to not fall for that. So she probably has a pretty strong contract, once that at least puts it on the table that changing the distribution method might open Disney up for a liability claim.

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  • Snake GandhiSnake Gandhi Des Moines, IARegistered User regular
    There’s precedent for this IIR, WB paid Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot to cover for WW84 launching on HBO Max day and date.

    In general I go with the person vs the mega corp, so go ScarJo, get that money.

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  • SpoitSpoit *twitch twitch* Registered User regular
    Orca wrote: »
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    I don't thin Scar would have a contract considering profits, because Hollywood Accounting is a thing. It's prpbably based on revenue

    I would hope not anyway.

    I'd love to see anti-trust force apart production and distribution again. Them being twined together like this is a benefit only to them. And The Mouse in particular is just way too big these days.

    With streaming changing the pipelines, I'm not sure it's realyl feasible at this point

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  • ArchangleArchangle Registered User regular
    edited July 29
    Atomika wrote: »
    ROM: Spaceknight is owned by Hasbro, so I wouldn't expect him in the MCU anytime soon, or ever, unless Disney decides they need to own a toy manufacturer.

    The same Hasbro that has an exclusive marketing agreement with Marvel and Disney for the next decade?

    More like the same Hasbro whose toy division is facing heavier and heavier challenges in the modern economy and are desperately trying to pivot to media, and are trying to launch their own "hasbro-verse" of movies, including ROM.

    https://www.denofgeek.com/movies/rom-spaceknight-movie-set-with-ready-player-one-writer-zak-penn/
    Hasbro have been "pivot(ing) to media" for about as long as Marvel Studios has been releasing films.

    Transformers was released in 2007. In 2008 (same year as Iron Man) they announced a 6 picture deal with Universal based on Hasbro properties - of which only Battleship and Ouija were eventually released (this was the "Ridley Scott Monopoly" deal). In 2009 they went into a joint venture with Discovery to launch The Hub channel (now Discovery Family).

    For about a decade they flailed around, with various initiatives limping into release (GI Joe Retaliation, Jem and the Holograms), trying to untangle the legal rights for other properties licensed out years ago (such as Dungeons and Dragons), and having the occasional Transformers film to breathe life into the film division, and My Little Pony holding up the TV side.

    In 2019 they acquired production company Entertainment One (which holds a number of properties like Peppa Pig) for $3.8 billion (Hasbro itself has a market cap of $13.8 B). They've reorganised Hasbro Studios and Allspark Entertainment under the Entertainment One banner, and are finally looking to inject serious cash into the division (Snake Eyes getting released and D&D finally filming with Chris Pine, Hugh Grant, and Michelle Rodriguez).

    Unfortunately Snake Eyes released to only a $13.3M opening weekend, compared with $31M for Space Jam 2 the previous weekend and $80M for Black Widow the weekend before that. It's likely they're going to eat a loss on their $88M negative budget.

    Edit to add:
    Their toy divisions have also rebounded post-Covid shock. Half year results are up 24% overall, with Franchise Brands (Hasbro-owned properties such as Nerf, Transformers and My Little Pony) up 48% to $1.1B, Partner Brands (licensed properties such as Marvel, Star Wars and Disney) up 25% to $400M. TV, Film, and Entertainment is their 3rd largest division down -8% to $391M (it was #2 this time last year with the disruption to supply chains and media content for streaming in stronger demand).

    Archangle on
  • -Tal-Tal Registered User regular
    ScarJo is one of, if not the biggest actress in the biz at the moment. Even if they tried to screw her here, it wouldn't look good and they burn a bridge for her to ever work under Disney again. I'm almost certain Disney would settle and cut her some money, if only so they don't have literal Avengers going around doing negative press for them. It would look bad for any would-be stars Disney is trying to get in the door for future projects. I mean, that's the hope anyways

    oh i don't know, they already have bad blood with the star wars sequels cast. the disney pr machine is powerful. i think this does likely end in some kind of settlement but i think they are very specifically trying to avoid giving and of their new would-be stars the kind of leverage that early mcu actors got in their contracts. this is disney, the big bully that is gobbling up more and more of the entertainment landscape every year

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  • Snake GandhiSnake Gandhi Des Moines, IARegistered User regular
    Well, it seems Disney is taking the Activision-Blizzard approach of "fuck it, why not be the bad guy?"

    https://www.cnbc.com/2021/07/29/scarlett-johansson-sues-disney-over-black-widow-streaming-release.html

    “There is no merit whatsoever to this filing,” Disney said in a statement Thursday. “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+ with Premier Access has significantly enhanced her ability to earn additional compensation on top of the $20 [million] she has received to date.”

    Basically "Fuck her, she's rich, plus COVID." Assholes.

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  • ButtersButters A glass of some milks Registered User regular
    Given the proliferation of streaming services, it's entirely possible that existed in her contract, especially if her pay is tied to it. Hollywood loves screwing people out of money. "X amount of box office profits" is the kind of thing where a good lawyers is going to make sure there's going to BE box office profits.

    It kind of looks like they're screwing themselves with dual releases so far.

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  • ArchangleArchangle Registered User regular
    Well, it seems Disney is taking the Activision-Blizzard approach of "fuck it, why not be the bad guy?"

    https://www.cnbc.com/2021/07/29/scarlett-johansson-sues-disney-over-black-widow-streaming-release.html

    “There is no merit whatsoever to this filing,” Disney said in a statement Thursday. “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+ with Premier Access has significantly enhanced her ability to earn additional compensation on top of the $20 [million] she has received to date.”

    Basically "Fuck her, she's rich, plus COVID." Assholes.
    I'm not sure they're wrong.

    From what I've read, Johansson's contract only specified details for Theatrical release - so (AFAIK) they may be completely correct that releasing on Premier Access complies with the terms of the contract.

    As I understand it, Johansson's contract was based on bonuses for hitting certain box office targets, as opposed to the WW84 dispute where I believe Gadot et al. had contracts based on % of BO revenue. Johansson would have to show not only that the Premier Access release suppressed the Theatrical box office revenues (difficult), but also that it did so materially to prevent reaching contract-specified box office bonus thresholds (almost impossible).

    Disney may be correct in saying "We believe the theatrical release would have fallen short of the next tier of box office bonus, Johansson would never have received that bonus and has instead received compensation from the Premier Access release so has come out ahead". It's almost impossible to know for sure, unless it literally comes in a million or two below that bonus payout threshold.

    If it turns out that (A) Johannson's contract specified an exclusive theatrical window prior to streaming release, and/or (B) the bonus was a % calculation of box office rather than explicit targets, then yeah - fuck Disney.

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  • ScooterScooter Registered User regular
    That sounds like a pretty standard statement of their legal position and doesn't at all mean they aren't also trying to settle this out of court at the same time. ScarJo's position was also kind of overly aggressive, making it sound like Disney nefariously released it on D+ just to screw with her and not for all of the other obvious reasons they might want to do that. Before covid hit BW was on the verge of a theaters-only release as I recall.

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  • ButtersButters A glass of some milks Registered User regular
    Disney playing the "callous disregard" card leads me to believe they totally violated her contract. There is no need to pull that shit if you are confident in your case.
    Scooter wrote: »
    That sounds like a pretty standard statement of their legal position and doesn't at all mean they aren't also trying to settle this out of court at the same time. ScarJo's position was also kind of overly aggressive, making it sound like Disney nefariously released it on D+ just to screw with her and not for all of the other obvious reasons they might want to do that. Before covid hit BW was on the verge of a theaters-only release as I recall.

    According to her lawyer's statements, they expressed concern over rumors of MCU releasing films on D+ to Disney back in 2019. Disney's primary benefit to dual release is attracting new subscribers which Johannson does NOT benefit from and "nefarious" or not if they violated her contract suing is the appropriate response. No studio should be allowed to get away with that and Johannson is one of an elite few that can take them to court without it damaging her career too much.

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  • -Tal-Tal Registered User regular
    black widow is the only one with a d+ release, shang-chi forward is planned to be theaters only, for now at least

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  • ArchangleArchangle Registered User regular
    Butters wrote: »
    Disney playing the "callous disregard" card leads me to believe they totally violated her contract. There is no need to pull that shit if you are confident in your case.
    Scooter wrote: »
    That sounds like a pretty standard statement of their legal position and doesn't at all mean they aren't also trying to settle this out of court at the same time. ScarJo's position was also kind of overly aggressive, making it sound like Disney nefariously released it on D+ just to screw with her and not for all of the other obvious reasons they might want to do that. Before covid hit BW was on the verge of a theaters-only release as I recall.

    According to her lawyer's statements, they expressed concern over rumors of MCU releasing films on D+ to Disney back in 2019. Disney's primary benefit to dual release is attracting new subscribers which Johannson does NOT benefit from and "nefarious" or not if they violated her contract suing is the appropriate response. No studio should be allowed to get away with that and Johannson is one of an elite few that can take them to court without it damaging her career too much.
    Eh - any high profile dispute is going to have language to the effect of "We are 100% right, the other side is 100% wrong" and "We are shocked and appalled by their actions".

    The statement that Johannson doesn't benefit from subscriber numbers is not correct. The SAG-AFTRA contract residual calculation uses subscriber numbers as a factor, and there are also clauses to protect performers from losing industry-standard residuals in the event of a platform change (hence Disney's comment that she got compensated for the shift to Premier Access). Johannson is explicitly looking for compensation for the box office bonuses that are present in her individual contract, this is not a fight where someone not in the "elite few" would be affected.

    I wouldn't read anything into any corporate lawyer statement other than someone is looking to rack up billable hours. I'd always look to any details from people who have reviewed the submissions, rather than anyone paid by one of the sides.

  • ButtersButters A glass of some milks Registered User regular
    edited July 30
    Archangle wrote: »
    Butters wrote: »
    Disney playing the "callous disregard" card leads me to believe they totally violated her contract. There is no need to pull that shit if you are confident in your case.
    Scooter wrote: »
    That sounds like a pretty standard statement of their legal position and doesn't at all mean they aren't also trying to settle this out of court at the same time. ScarJo's position was also kind of overly aggressive, making it sound like Disney nefariously released it on D+ just to screw with her and not for all of the other obvious reasons they might want to do that. Before covid hit BW was on the verge of a theaters-only release as I recall.

    According to her lawyer's statements, they expressed concern over rumors of MCU releasing films on D+ to Disney back in 2019. Disney's primary benefit to dual release is attracting new subscribers which Johannson does NOT benefit from and "nefarious" or not if they violated her contract suing is the appropriate response. No studio should be allowed to get away with that and Johannson is one of an elite few that can take them to court without it damaging her career too much.
    Eh - any high profile dispute is going to have language to the effect of "We are 100% right, the other side is 100% wrong" and "We are shocked and appalled by their actions".

    The statement that Johannson doesn't benefit from subscriber numbers is not correct. The SAG-AFTRA contract residual calculation uses subscriber numbers as a factor, and there are also clauses to protect performers from losing industry-standard residuals in the event of a platform change (hence Disney's comment that she got compensated for the shift to Premier Access). Johannson is explicitly looking for compensation for the box office bonuses that are present in her individual contract, this is not a fight where someone not in the "elite few" would be affected.

    I wouldn't read anything into any corporate lawyer statement other than someone is looking to rack up billable hours. I'd always look to any details from people who have reviewed the submissions, rather than anyone paid by one of the sides.

    Not my point. Someone not on Johannson's level would have to weigh their decision to pursue legal action over any contract violation vs getting put on a major studio's shit list. She doesn't need to worry about that.

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  • ArchangleArchangle Registered User regular
    Butters wrote: »
    Archangle wrote: »
    Butters wrote: »
    Disney playing the "callous disregard" card leads me to believe they totally violated her contract. There is no need to pull that shit if you are confident in your case.
    Scooter wrote: »
    That sounds like a pretty standard statement of their legal position and doesn't at all mean they aren't also trying to settle this out of court at the same time. ScarJo's position was also kind of overly aggressive, making it sound like Disney nefariously released it on D+ just to screw with her and not for all of the other obvious reasons they might want to do that. Before covid hit BW was on the verge of a theaters-only release as I recall.

    According to her lawyer's statements, they expressed concern over rumors of MCU releasing films on D+ to Disney back in 2019. Disney's primary benefit to dual release is attracting new subscribers which Johannson does NOT benefit from and "nefarious" or not if they violated her contract suing is the appropriate response. No studio should be allowed to get away with that and Johannson is one of an elite few that can take them to court without it damaging her career too much.
    Eh - any high profile dispute is going to have language to the effect of "We are 100% right, the other side is 100% wrong" and "We are shocked and appalled by their actions".

    The statement that Johannson doesn't benefit from subscriber numbers is not correct. The SAG-AFTRA contract residual calculation uses subscriber numbers as a factor, and there are also clauses to protect performers from losing industry-standard residuals in the event of a platform change (hence Disney's comment that she got compensated for the shift to Premier Access). Johannson is explicitly looking for compensation for the box office bonuses that are present in her individual contract, this is not a fight where someone not in the "elite few" would be affected.

    I wouldn't read anything into any corporate lawyer statement other than someone is looking to rack up billable hours. I'd always look to any details from people who have reviewed the submissions, rather than anyone paid by one of the sides.

    Not my point. Someone not on Johannson's level would have to weigh their decision to pursue legal action over any contract violation vs getting put on a major studio's shit list. She doesn't need to worry about that.
    That's fair. Apologies for misconstruing that point.

  • Munkus BeaverMunkus Beaver You don't have to attend every argument you are invited to. Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited July 30
    Sounds like Disney willfully broke contract and ignored any negotiations that would amend that.

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  • Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    Disney looked at this being her last film and probably just figured the payout to settle out of court will be cheaper than giving her the promised cut of earnings. Zero chance they'll let this case finish out and run the risk of permanently setting the legal precedent that they can't just fuck over actors with the whole streaming vs theater thing.

    I hope she says "fuck you" to the payout and takes this all the way to the end, this is a flagrant violation of contract.

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  • ViskodViskod Registered User regular
    I read two articles about this and heard it reported on in the evening news last night and none of those brought up that Johansson wanted to renegotiate to take Covid and a streaming release into account, or that she was also an executive producer.

    This is an easy win for Disney to drag her through the mud making her out to be a selfish person who doesn’t care about covid, and it will be boosted by the usual chuds all over the internet that hate women and no one is going to report on it accurately because the media loves to tear people down.

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  • That_GuyThat_Guy I don't wanna be that guy Registered User regular
    The more I look into this lawsuit (without the benefit of PACER) the more I am convinced, this will come down to the wording of a single paragraph in a 100+ page contract. I absolutely think ScarJo should vigorously pursue her case but it's all going to come down to the facts. Disney is probably right and her contract doesn't have a contingency for what the ended up doing. Black Widow is still in theaters. It will meet it's engagement time. It also is on streaming because the production company and the distribution company (both owned by Disney) agreed to it.

    I hope Disney settles with her out of court because she absolutely deserves the bonus if the viewership is high enough on D+. I think Disney should have renegotiated her contract the moment they device to dump it on streaming. However they are probably technically correct. In the legal world this is the only kind of correct that matters.

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  • BogartBogart Gonna Be A Man In Motion Registered User, Moderator mod


    If I sue you for breach of contract and you start talking about how I don’t care about the pandemic I think you probably breached my contract.

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  • ArchangleArchangle Registered User regular
    edited July 30
    Okays, so the pdf of the complaint is available here.

    IANAL, but it doesn't look strong for ScarJo.

    I. Introduction.
    ..To maximize these receipts, and thereby protect her financial interests, Ms. Johansson extracted a promise from Marvel that the release of the Picture would be a “theatrical release.” As Ms. Johansson, Disney, Marvel, and most everyone else in Hollywood knows, a “theatrical release” is a release that is exclusive to movie theatres.
    IV. Factual Background B. The Agreement
    Paragraph 2, titled “ENGAGEMENT,” states: Lender shall furnish Producer the services of Artist to perform the role of ‘Black Widow’ / ‘Natasha Romanova’ in the theatrical motion picture currently entitled ‘Black Widow’ (‘Picture’). For the avoidance of doubt, if Producer in its sole discretion determines to release the Picture, then such release shall be a wide theatrical release of the Picture (i.e., no less than 1,500 screens). (Emphasis added.) (sic)
    C. Disney Announces the Launch of Streaming Platform Disney+, Leading Marvel to Further Clarify Its Promises to Ms. Johansson
    28. In light of these announcements, Ms. Johansson’s representatives reached out to Marvel to confirm that the launch of Disney+ would not impact the exclusive, wide theatrical release that Ms. Johansson had bargained for in the Agreement. Dave Galluzzi, Marvel’s Chief Counsel, responded on March 20, 2019:

    Further [to] our conversation today, it is 100% our plan to do a typical wide release of Black Widow. We have very high expectations for the film and are very excited to try to do for Black Widow what we’ve just done with Captain Marvel. We totally understand that Scarlett’s willingness to do the film and her whole deal is based on the premise that the film would be widely theatrically released like our other pictures. We understand that should the plan change, we would need to discuss this with you and come to an understanding as the deal is based on a series of (very large) box office bonuses. (Emphases added.) (sic)
    The statements saying that the contract stipulated an "exclusive" theatrical release doesn't seem to be backed up in writing, and instead based on "everyone knows 'theatrical' means 'exclusive' " interpretation.

    It also makes no attempt to estimate the impact of how much the box office was suppressed, and which bonuses were thereby not paid out, so there's no damages included ("to be proven at trial") - just a generalisation that reduced box office caused harm. There are only 2 causes of action, one for Marvel breaching the contract (since ScarJo's contract is with Marvel, not Disney), and another for Disney forcing Marvel to breach the contract (ordered in reverse in the document- Disney listed as first cause, then Marvel listed as second).

    It seems to all rest on whether a judge would agree that "typical wide theatrical release like our other pictures" excludes a day-and-date streaming release.

    Edit: cleaned up line breaks from pdf.

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  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    It might not be a strong lawsuit but, to be fair, "everyone knows theatrical means exclusively in theaters" was absolutely, 100% the truth until maybe a year ago. Certainly when the contract was written.

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  • ButtersButters A glass of some milks Registered User regular
    Viskod wrote: »
    I read two articles about this and heard it reported on in the evening news last night and none of those brought up that Johansson wanted to renegotiate to take Covid and a streaming release into account, or that she was also an executive producer.

    This is an easy win for Disney to drag her through the mud making her out to be a selfish person who doesn’t care about covid, and it will be boosted by the usual chuds all over the internet that hate women and no one is going to report on it accurately because the media loves to tear people down.

    Their stance is that they were open to renegotiation but that Disney changed the terms of the release unilaterally which is why they are suing.

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  • cloudeaglecloudeagle Registered User regular
    This may be going beyond the scope of the thread, but ScarJo's suit really raises the stakes on simultaneous releases. Both Black Widow and Space Jam massively underperformed in their second weekends, which pissed off theaters. Now a star is pissed, which might make other stars more wary of signing contracts. Very interested to see how this shakes out.

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  • ArchangleArchangle Registered User regular
    It might not be a strong lawsuit but, to be fair, "everyone knows theatrical means exclusively in theaters" was absolutely, 100% the truth until maybe a year ago. Certainly when the contract was written.
    The release is consistent with the Oscar theatrical release rules:
    3. Films that, in any version, receive their first public exhibition or distribution in any manner other than as a theatrical motion picture release will not be eligible for Academy Awards in any category.

    Nontheatrical public exhibition or distribution includes but is not limited to:
    • Broadcast and cable television
    • PPV/VOD
    • DVD distribution
    • Internet transmission

    Motion pictures released in such nontheatrical media on or after the first day of their Los Angeles County qualifying run remain eligible.
    (It just so happens that the first result of my google was the 2015 rules, but that's good enough)

    Release dates (wikipedia):
    Black Widow premiered on June 29, 2021, at various red carpet fan events in London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, and New York City,[153][154] and was part of the Taormina Film Fest, which screened on July 3, 2021.[155] It was released in the United States on July 9, 2021, simultaneously in theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access for US$30

    Disney could argue that if it's good enough for the Academy Awards, it should be good enough for satisfying the conditions of the contract.

  • Knuckle DraggerKnuckle Dragger Explosive Ovine Disposal Registered User regular
    edited July 30
    the release of Black Widow on Disney+ with Premier Access has significantly enhanced her ability to earn additional compensation on top of the $20 [million] she has received to date.

    I’m sure it’s just because it’s written in legalese, but my gut reaction to that statement was to wonder if it was fancy talk for, “we paid her with exposure.”

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  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    Archangle wrote: »
    It might not be a strong lawsuit but, to be fair, "everyone knows theatrical means exclusively in theaters" was absolutely, 100% the truth until maybe a year ago. Certainly when the contract was written.
    The release is consistent with the Oscar theatrical release rules:
    3. Films that, in any version, receive their first public exhibition or distribution in any manner other than as a theatrical motion picture release will not be eligible for Academy Awards in any category.

    Nontheatrical public exhibition or distribution includes but is not limited to:
    • Broadcast and cable television
    • PPV/VOD
    • DVD distribution
    • Internet transmission

    Motion pictures released in such nontheatrical media on or after the first day of their Los Angeles County qualifying run remain eligible.
    (It just so happens that the first result of my google was the 2015 rules, but that's good enough)

    Release dates (wikipedia):
    Black Widow premiered on June 29, 2021, at various red carpet fan events in London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, and New York City,[153][154] and was part of the Taormina Film Fest, which screened on July 3, 2021.[155] It was released in the United States on July 9, 2021, simultaneously in theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access for US$30

    Disney could argue that if it's good enough for the Academy Awards, it should be good enough for satisfying the conditions of the contract.

    Ehhh. The Academy Awards are establishing a bar for "Was this movie released in theaters?" ScarJo's contract was written with her compensation based on the film hitting specific theatrical release revenue benchmarks to award her bonuses. I don't see any way to argue in good faith that releasing simultaneously in most theaters and on streaming didn't directly undercut that reward structure. I'm sure they'll make a legal argument along those lines, that it met the written requirements for a theatrical release, but anybody who has a contract for an as-yet-unreleased film where their payment is based on theatrical release milestones is, I hope, on the phone with their agents right now trying to re-negotiate.

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  • Snake GandhiSnake Gandhi Des Moines, IARegistered User regular
    Archangle wrote: »
    It might not be a strong lawsuit but, to be fair, "everyone knows theatrical means exclusively in theaters" was absolutely, 100% the truth until maybe a year ago. Certainly when the contract was written.
    The release is consistent with the Oscar theatrical release rules:
    3. Films that, in any version, receive their first public exhibition or distribution in any manner other than as a theatrical motion picture release will not be eligible for Academy Awards in any category.

    Nontheatrical public exhibition or distribution includes but is not limited to:
    • Broadcast and cable television
    • PPV/VOD
    • DVD distribution
    • Internet transmission

    Motion pictures released in such nontheatrical media on or after the first day of their Los Angeles County qualifying run remain eligible.
    (It just so happens that the first result of my google was the 2015 rules, but that's good enough)

    Release dates (wikipedia):
    Black Widow premiered on June 29, 2021, at various red carpet fan events in London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, and New York City,[153][154] and was part of the Taormina Film Fest, which screened on July 3, 2021.[155] It was released in the United States on July 9, 2021, simultaneously in theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access for US$30

    Disney could argue that if it's good enough for the Academy Awards, it should be good enough for satisfying the conditions of the contract.

    Ehhh. The Academy Awards are establishing a bar for "Was this movie released in theaters?" ScarJo's contract was written with her compensation based on the film hitting specific theatrical release revenue benchmarks to award her bonuses. I don't see any way to argue in good faith that releasing simultaneously in most theaters and on streaming didn't directly undercut that reward structure. I'm sure they'll make a legal argument along those lines, that it met the written requirements for a theatrical release, but anybody who has a contract for an as-yet-unreleased film where their payment is based on theatrical release milestones is, I hope, on the phone with their agents right now trying to re-negotiate.

    I'm already seeing stuff about John Krasinski and Emily Blunt are not happy with how A Quiet Place 2 worked out with regards to streaming at Paramount, and that Emily Blunt and The Rock and keeping a very close eye on how Jungle Cruise performs, especially considering the latter is a D+ Premier Access film like Black Widow.

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  • ArchangleArchangle Registered User regular
    cloudeagle wrote: »
    This may be going beyond the scope of the thread, but ScarJo's suit really raises the stakes on simultaneous releases. Both Black Widow and Space Jam massively underperformed in their second weekends, which pissed off theaters. Now a star is pissed, which might make other stars more wary of signing contracts. Very interested to see how this shakes out.
    This isn't actually true. Yes, there's been a number of articles published about it - but it doesn't stand up to actual box office results.

    Last 2 months, week1 vs week2 box office change
    Space Jam 2 : (1) $31,053,362 (2) $9,580,220 : -69.1%
    Black Widow : (1) $80,366,312 (2) $25,847,496 : -67.8%
    F9: The Fast Saga : (1) $70,043,165 (2) $23,008,860 : -67.2%
    The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard : (1) $11,397,820 (2) $4,851,229 : -57.4%
    In the Heights : (1) $11,504,710 (2) $4,200,431 : -63.5%
    The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It : (1) $24,104,332 (2) $10,335,831 : -57.1%
    A Quiet Place Part II : (1) $47,547,231 (2) $19,266,977 : -59.5%
    Cruella : (1) $21,496,997 (2) $11,001,929 : -48.8%

    Black Widow's 2nd weekend performed almost exactly the same as F9's 2nd weekend - haven't seen hide nor hair of articles with theatre owners upset about F9. It was also close to the drop for In the Heights which was 1/8th the box office (generally the higher opening weekend, the steeper the week 2 drop).

    Meanwhile, the film which had the best 2nd-week hold was Cruella, which was same day streaming just like Black Widow.

    At this point, the data indicates the impact of same-day streaming on box office is ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  • cloudeaglecloudeagle Registered User regular
    edited July 30
    Edit: never mind, misread.

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  • ThawmusThawmus Registered User regular
    I'm just amazed that after all this shit Marvel and Disney have rightfully earned for not having female-led movies in the MCU, and finally doing some fucking course-correction, they go right to fucking the lead actress.

    I expect all sorts of unethical bullshit from studios in general, and especially from Disney, but this is just fucking stupid.

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  • That_GuyThat_Guy I don't wanna be that guy Registered User regular
    Oof. As much as ScarJo deserves a payday, it's not looking good. BW did indeed get a wide theatrical release. It just also got a wide streaming release at the same time. Sounds like there's nothing in the contact that specifically addresses theater exclusivity. The Academy rules don't apply here and can't be considered.

    Disney should still pay up, though.

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  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    I don't see why they don't just give her the same percentage of money from streams as she got from the screens

    no fuss no muss

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  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    Honestly, I expect it's another thing like the Sony/Disney Spider-Man thing playing out in public again.

    For good or ill, trying to leverage the breathless gushing of fans/nerds/tweeters who will weigh in endlessly on the matter is just how some things get done.

    No, it shouldn't be necessary, yes I stand by my earlier statements that Disney should dig into petty cash and pay up a reasonable approximation of what was agreed upon, and think that it's unfortunate this is happening at all rather than a simpler and more elegant "the last few years have been remarkable, obviously the reality we're living in is different from what was originally contractually arranged" and make some fair offers to meet in the middle, but here we are.

    It's distasteful to lean on BW finally getting her own movie and then try to cut the lead actress out of her cut, but unless Disney is attributing ALL THE DOLLARS to this one flick, somehow surpassing even previously set records, I don't see how it's worth having a pissy public slap fight over what is likely a rounding error in their discretionary budgets.

    It could be spun better, that's for damned sure.

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  • ArchangleArchangle Registered User regular
    Xaquin wrote: »
    I don't see why they don't just give her the same percentage of money from streams as she got from the screens

    no fuss no muss
    Two reasons:
    1) From what's written in the complaint, her bonus wasn't based on percentage it was based on fixed sums at certain thresholds. You could potentially convert those fixed sums to an equivalent percentage, but that assumes that the margins for box office are the same (and scale equivalently) as streaming. Which may not be true.

    2) ScarJo's complaint explicitly argues that the two aren't comparable. It gives the example of a superfan who saw Endgame 190 times with a commensurate 190 ticket purchases, whereas with Premier Access they only pay $30 and can watch as many times as they want.

    It very much argues that the Black Widow should have been released in theatres only - something that Nolan caught a fair amount of flack last year for arguing the same thing.

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