Scarlett Johansson Sues Mickey the Great and Terrible or ScarJo Didn’t Kill Herself

Scarlett Johansson Sues Mickey the Great and Terrible or ScarJo Didn’t Kill Herself

Another casualty of Disney’s release strategy for Black Widow was Scarlett Johansson’s paycheck.   

The upfront money is good but the place a headliner like Johansson really cleans up is the back-end theatrical deal. Let’s take a look at a recent example of what this potentially looks like.  

Gal Gadot was starting to make quite the stink over Wonder Woman 1984 being released exclusively on HBOmax.  Because of the same thing Scarlett’s mad about.  Gal was being deprived of the backend theatrical cut that she was contractually due.  In her case, Warner Brothers coughed big time and $10 million landed in her lap.  She was all happy-happy-joy-joy over her streaming-only release after that.  

Before its release, it was believed that Wonder Woman 1984 would have made about $1 billion.   There is no way in hell that embodiment of cinematic toilet wine would have made that kind of bank, but Gal was paid on the premise that it would have done so. Gadot took her studio to the cleaners and that never happens for an actor.

For years almost every Marvel release (with some notable exceptions) has made $1 billion+ worldwide at the box office.

The truth of it is that Black Widow wouldn’t have made that kind of money either.  The shining Marvel brand has been tarnished.  The MCU lost invaluable momentum. And worse still gave itself a black eye with its three Disney plus mini-series.  Covid was a watershed moment and we won’t be the same on the other side of it.  Superhero movies will probably still sell but the MCU is now an Eighties action franchise in the Nineties. 

However, all of that is hard to prove.  It’s just conjecture at the moment.  Scarlett’s lawyers can make the argument that based on past performance of Marvel films, especially one with such fawning reviews and strong first week at the box office (*giggle, snort*, Yeah, yeah I know Disney paid for both of those things but work with me here), it was going to crack the $1 billion mark.

Assuming Gadot’s paycheck was anything like an industry-standard she could have expected (and was contractually promised) about $10 million herself.  Except there was no way in hell Bob Cheapek would pay that kind of money to an actress that wasn’t going to be working for him anymore.

The Dark Herald Predicts – Disney will settle out of court for once. 

Bob Chapek is going to want this one down the memory hole fast!

UPDATE: Cheapek didn’t bury it fast enough. There is a reliably sourced rumor that Emma Stone is will soon be filing against Disney for the same reason ScarJo did. There is a much less reliable rumor that the Rock and Emily Blunt are doing the same thing. Which puts a big question mark over The Eternals cast. Chapek now has no choice but to man the barricades and deny everybody the money they thought they had coming. Good news, it comes naturally to him.

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Comments (15)

  • furor kek tonicus Reply

    that’s a good point.
    there’s going to be a boatload of stars and agents and lolwyers re-writing contracts.

    July 30, 2021 at 2:21 am
  • EXALT Reply

    Between this and the news that Jodie Whittaker will only get nine more episodes as the Doctor, it has been a harsh day for Strong Women on both sides of the Atlantic.
    Anyway, a rapid perusal of various subreddits reveals that just about everyone is siding with Johansson on this, which was to be expected; just about everyone doesn’t wonder if it’s weird that they care so much about a disgustingly rich woman becoming even more so, and that was to be expected too; what I’m not seeing are people that decide to stop supporting Disney/Marvel because of this – in fact, I’ve seen a few people making sure to note that Johansson’s problem is with Disney specifically, not with Marvel/Kevin Feige, which I guess is going to be the official excuse going forward.
    Can you imagine if a thing like this happens with Auntie Brie, next year?

    July 30, 2021 at 6:07 am
    • The Dark Herald Reply

      I don’t think people are so much siding with ScarJo as they are siding AGAINST Disney. When Raya and the Last Dragon failed I knew Disney was in real public relations trouble. People refused to see a good movie (and it was) precisely because Disney’s name was on it.

      July 30, 2021 at 10:23 am
      • EXALT Reply

        “People refused to see a good movie (and it was) precisely because Disney’s name was on it.”
        Sure; my main point was that Reddit users in general and Marvel Zombies in particular (so you know, distinct from normal human beings) are already finding ways of ignoring the elephant in the room, or even actively trying to say that the elephant is not there.

        July 30, 2021 at 1:01 pm
    • Joe S.Walker Reply

      To be fair, Johansson’s got a case, so much so that it is unlikely to end up going to court. If it does Disney may wish they’d bribed her the way Warners bribed Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins.

      July 30, 2021 at 10:57 am
      • EXALT Reply

        I don’t deny that Johansson has – probably – a case; I just find it all too typical that people that, in theory, spend a good chunk of their life “fighting for the disadvantaged and dispossessed” are actively picking sides in a fight between two disgustingly rich entities whose objective is to become even more disgustingly rich.

        July 30, 2021 at 1:07 pm
  • Chris Lopes Reply

    From what little I understand, the movie was produced with the expectation of a billion dollar theatrical release. All the contracts signed by the participants involved had that expectation in mind. Whether it would have actually done that well is besides the point. Disney sabotaged the potential earnings by making it available on Disney+. Had the participants known that was going to happen, they would have asked for more money up front. So yeah, the super rich and spoiled actress (unfortunately) has a point.

    July 30, 2021 at 11:55 am
  • Moonglum Reply

    Given the recent mention of Kevin Smith and his presumed knowledge of Harvey Weinstein’s activities (with women) it is worth remembering that Johansson made two movies with Woody Allen, a few years apart, Match Point (2005) and Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008), over a decade after the director’s unsavory interest in the children of Mia Farrow had become public knowledge via the mass media.

    July 30, 2021 at 2:58 pm
    • Moonglum Reply

      I’ve just recalled that Owen Wilson and Tom Hiddleston who appeared together in the recent Loki mini-series had previously acted in the Woody Allen-directed picture Midnight in Paris 2011).

      July 30, 2021 at 4:32 pm
    • furor kek tonicus Reply

      had previously acted in the Woody Allen-directed picture Midnight in Paris 2011
      it’s almost like there’s a network of connected Hollywood pedophiles or something.

      July 31, 2021 at 12:40 am
  • Ivan Poland Reply

    Devil Mouse Strikes Back in a news brief that ScarJo was already paid $20 million on top of her pay for starring in the film. I’m sure she’s still a good socialist tho.

    July 30, 2021 at 8:46 pm
    • furor kek tonicus Reply

      Downey got approx $75 million ( same base 20 as Hohanson ) out of Endgame.
      i’m sure ScarHo is livid that they’ve gutted the theatrical purse, i might be a bit peeved about losing ( a hypothetical ) $30-50 million myself.
      Downey received a US$20 million salary up front, as well as 8 per cent on the movie’s back-end points. This means he gets a percentage of the profits, which came to an additional US$55 million.”
      interesting that Downey took net points rather than gross. wasn’t it Art Buchwald who was told he was a dumbass for signing a net points contract in Hollywood?

      July 31, 2021 at 12:26 am
    • The Dark Herald Reply

      “the Premier Access release ‘has significantly enhanced her ability to earn additional compensation on top of the $20 million she has received to date.’

      Now there is a crock of shit.

      The “has received to date.” is the sleight of hand phrase here. That translates as; this is all the money she has ever made working for Marvel in total starting with Ironman 2. She did not get $20 million for making Black Widow.

      The disgusting part is attacking her with “The lawsuit is especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

      That is from the company that fired 30,000 people right before Christmas. Fuck you Disney.

      July 31, 2021 at 12:13 pm
    • Moonglum Reply

      Perhaps Downey signed on to an agreed formula for calculating net profit from the film which his tax lawyers approved. The problem of diminishing rewards comes when one lets the studio decide what affects net after the movie has opened. I’d guess there are tax benefits to the actor if he take net points (the net formula may already deduct the taxes from the studio point of view) whereas if he gets gross points he pays the taxes based on his personal earnings or something.

      July 31, 2021 at 12:42 pm
    • furor kek tonicus Reply

      the problem with Net Points is “Hollywood Accounting Practices”, in which fake expenses are charged to the film such that they almost never show a profit.
      the quintessential example is Star Wars. for IRS purposes, Lucas Film claimed FOR DECADES that Star Wars did NOT make a profit. and Star Wars was one of the most profitable films ever released. so if you’re dumb enough to sign a NP contract in Hollywood, it’s normally an admission that you’re a sucker volunteering to work for free. even if, as in Art Buchwald’s case, you’re a member of the Tribe.
      but when your average MCU film grosses a billion dollars, i guess they gave up trying to expense away all of the profits.
      “The decision was important mainly for the court’s determination in the damages phase of the trial that Paramount used “unconscionable” means of determining how much to pay authors, which is widely called “Hollywood Accounting.” Paramount claimed, and provided accounting evidence to support the claim, that despite the movie’s $288 million in revenues, it had earned no net profit, according to the definition of “net profit” in Buchwald’s contract, and hence Buchwald was owed nothing. The court agreed with Buchwald’s argument that this was “unconscionable” and therefore invalid. Fearing a loss if it appealed, and the subsequent implications of the unconscionability decision across all its other contracts, Paramount settled for $900,000.
      now, it’s “unconscionable” that Hollywood regularly writes contracts that mean that they don’t pay the people a single cent for movies on which they earn hundreds of millions of dollars. but it’s EVEN MORE “unconscionable” that they don’t pay a penny in taxes.

      July 31, 2021 at 1:46 pm

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