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Eh... the movie Black Widow was a dull, tedious waste of film I'd just as soon forget.

This lawsuit, on the other hand, promises to bring some actual entertainment value.

The filing by Johansson's representation from Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP makes for some fascinating reading... in no small part because of how flimsy Johansson's argument is.  It all seems to hinge on this paragraph in the contract between Johansson's agency Periwinkle Entertainment Inc. and Marvel Studios:  (Text taken from case filing 21STCV27831 in the Los Angeles county Superior Court, bracketed names by me to clarify the text.)

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[Periwinkle Ent.] shall furnish [Marvel] the services of [Scarlett Johansson] 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 [Marvel] 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).

 

Based on the content of the filing by the three attorneys representing Johansson from Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP, it appears that Disney may not have actually breached the letter of the contract.

Johansson's representation are arguing that Disney effectively breached the spirit of the contract, arguing that at the time the contract was signed it was understood by all parties that a "wide theatrical release" meant an exclusive theatrical release for an extended period of time exceeding 90 days even though the contract does not stipulate such.

(From the same filing as above)

Quote

At the time the Agreement was entered, it was well understood by the parties and Disney that a “theatrical release” referred to an exclusive release in theatres for an extended period of time that was roughly 90-120 days. With the exception of certain less-valuable, direct-to-video releases, it has long been custom and practice in the film industry for feature films to have at least a 90-day exclusive theatrical release before they are released on home video. Although some films have started to see shorter theatrical windows, Marvel Studios’ previous films have generally had theatrical windows consistent with the industry standard, and sometimes even longer. Specifically, Marvel Studios’ previous feature films had uninterrupted theatrical windows between 82 and 159 days, with an average uninterrupted window of 117 days. Of the seven Marvel Studios’ films in which Ms. Johansson starred prior to the Picture—for which Ms. Johansson also received certain bonuses tied to box office receipts—none had a theatrical window shorter than 96 days. And none included “day-and-date” releases on streaming platforms as would come to pass with Black Widow; rather, in connection with those films, it took six to eight 
months before Marvel Studios’ films would be available for streaming on an SVOD service like Disney+.

 

Apparently a big part of why they're up in arms is that, a full year before the first pandemic lockdocks, Marvel's chief counsel confirmed to Johansson's agency that it was planning at that time to conduct a standard theaters-first release of the film... which was true at the time the statement was made.

 

The remainder of the argument by Johansson's representation is kind of hilariously flimsy... amounting as it does to bizarre claims including:

  • The theater market will magically recover in a few months time.  (With the COVID-19 delta variant on the rise, this is hilariously unlikely)
  • That Marvel Studios would have/should have delayed the film indefinitely until the theater market recovered to pre-pandemic levels if Disney had not intervened.
  • That Marvel could not possibly have changed its mind about the best strategy to release the film worldwide in the TWO YEARS separating their last discussion about plans for its release and its actual release without some kind of malicious incitement from Disney, global pandemic be damned apparently.
  • That Disney's decision to send the film to Disney+ was a calculated malicious decision meant to deprive Johansson of the bonuses she is entitled to based on the film's global box office performance rather than, say, cope with the realities of the entertainment industry during a global pandemic.
  • That the film's availability on Disney+ for the base subscription fee after the premium period expires in 6 months or so is somehow incitement for audiences to NOT go see the film in theaters.

and my personal favorite:

  • By releasing Black Widow to Disney+, Disney is supposedly cheating Johansson out of bonus money by passively supporting digital piracy of its own films.

 

This filing is such a bloody f*cking mess that I might actually be rooting for the House of Mouse.  It's rare that I get to see a filing this stupid that doesn't have the words "Harmony Gold USA" under Plaintiff or Defendant. :rofl:

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9 minutes ago, Seto Kaiba said:

Eh... the movie Black Widow was a dull, tedious waste of film I'd just as soon forget.

This lawsuit, on the other hand, promises to bring some actual entertainment value.

The filing by Johansson's representation from Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP makes for some fascinating reading... in no small part because of how flimsy Johansson's argument is.  It all seems to hinge on this paragraph in the contract between Johansson's agency Periwinkle Entertainment Inc. and Marvel Studios:  (Text taken from case filing 21STCV27831 in the Los Angeles county Superior Court, bracketed names by me to clarify the text.)

 

Based on the content of the filing by the three attorneys representing Johansson from Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP, it appears that Disney may not have actually breached the letter of the contract.

Johansson's representation are arguing that Disney effectively breached the spirit of the contract, arguing that at the time the contract was signed it was understood by all parties that a "wide theatrical release" meant an exclusive theatrical release for an extended period of time exceeding 90 days even though the contract does not stipulate such.

(From the same filing as above)

 

Apparently a big part of why they're up in arms is that, a full year before the first pandemic lockdocks, Marvel's chief counsel confirmed to Johansson's agency that it was planning at that time to conduct a standard theaters-first release of the film... which was true at the time the statement was made.

 

The remainder of the argument by Johansson's representation is kind of hilariously flimsy... amounting as it does to bizarre claims including:

  • The theater market will magically recover in a few months time.  (With the COVID-19 delta variant on the rise, this is hilariously unlikely)
  • That Marvel Studios would have/should have delayed the film indefinitely until the theater market recovered to pre-pandemic levels if Disney had not intervened.
  • That Marvel could not possibly have changed its mind about the best strategy to release the film worldwide in the TWO YEARS separating their last discussion about plans for its release and its actual release without some kind of malicious incitement from Disney, global pandemic be damned apparently.
  • That Disney's decision to send the film to Disney+ was a calculated malicious decision meant to deprive Johansson of the bonuses she is entitled to based on the film's global box office performance rather than, say, cope with the realities of the entertainment industry during a global pandemic.
  • That the film's availability on Disney+ for the base subscription fee after the premium period expires in 6 months or so is somehow incitement for audiences to NOT go see the film in theaters.

and my personal favorite:

  • By releasing Black Widow to Disney+, Disney is supposedly cheating Johansson out of bonus money by passively supporting digital piracy of its own films.

 

This filing is such a bloody f*cking mess that I might actually be rooting for the House of Mouse.  It's rare that I get to see a filing this stupid that doesn't have the words "Harmony Gold USA" under Plaintiff or Defendant. :rofl:

ROFL, especially the last sentence! :D

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Oof. IANAL, but I think the actual court filing makes its strongest arguments when it focuses on the breach of contract and Disney's unwillingness to renegotiate terms after introducing options to Disney+ customers. Alas, the lawyers also go on some odd tangents that are very poor/weak and I'm not understanding their endgame there. I can only guess that they are using a shotgun approach with the hope that some of the better complaints will stick.

I thought this complaint about lost repeat ticket sales was one of the more sensible ones:

Quote

But with Premier Access, there are no repeat ticket sales. Subscribers pay a onetime fee to view the Picture as many times as they want. It is tantamount to handing each moviegoer a free DVD on their way out of the theatre. On top of that, unlike in the theatres, a single Premier Access purchase of the Picture can be shared with tens if not hundreds of would be paying moviegoers whose ticket buying would have generated WWBO. Still other viewers will forego the theatre and the $30 Premier Access fee because they know they can simply wait what is widely expected to be just 90 days to access the Picture on Disney+ through a regular $8 monthly subscription.

Here's a link for anyone else wanting to read the full filing:

https://deadline.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Complaint_Black-Widow-1-WM.pdf

Anyway, I agree that the part about piracy is dubious. Pirates will pirate, after all. I guess, since it was bound to happen anyway, Johansson's lawyers are attempting to use it in their favor.

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And millions of others who would have watched in the theatres will instead view the Picture on perfect digital pirated copies—all made possible by Disney’s decision to release the Picture “day-and-date” on Disney+. Indeed, Black Widow was the No. 1 pirated title of the July 19 week, per the news site TorrentFreak. All of this has undermined the consideration promised to Ms. Johansson in her Agreement and ignores Marvel’s recognition that her “whole deal is based on the premise that the film would be widely theatrically released like our other pictures.”

The part of this that goes sideways for me is when the lawyers add a complaint stating that Black Widow actually needed the traditional cinema/theater to perform well. This one is odd and might hurt more than it helps. It gets back to my comment on new technology and growing pains. The lawyers seem unprepared to tackle this without falling back to a pre-streaming/pre-pandemic POV. That may come back to bite them.  

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Moreover, Disney knew that the availability of the Picture on Disney+ would dissuade a number of would-be moviegoers, including many would-be repeat moviegoers, from paying to see the Picture in theatres. When Disney first announced its plan to release the Picture on Premier Access, no less than the New York Times described it as “a move that will likely hurt cinemas (lower ticket and concession sales) while helping Disney (higher streaming revenue).” Similarly, one Hollywood trade journal opined on January 11, 2021 that “it’s insurmountably more challenging for a film the size and scale of ‘Black Widow’ to become profitable without a traditional theatrical window.”

Oh. I have to make a confession. I haven't even seen Black Widow yet and I'm not in a rush. I've really been waiting to see the new Dune film, but I don't even now if I'll be able to see that in the theater at this point. What can you do? :unknw:  

Edited by technoblue
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5 hours ago, technoblue said:

Oof. IANAL, but I think the actual court filing makes its strongest arguments when it focuses on the breach of contract and Disney's unwillingness to renegotiate terms after introducing options to Disney+ customers.

Eh... even then, their central argument is just so weak that Disney is likely to succeed with its very first motion to dismiss.

Their whole argument here is that violating the spirit of a contract without violating the letter of the contract is still a breach of contract.  (It isn't.)

As long as Disney and Marvel Studios have Black Widow playing in theaters on at least 1,500 screens worldwide - not a tall order, with over 44,000 screens in the US alone - then they have fulfilled the terms stipulated in the contract with Johansson and her agency even if they don't sell a single ticket because everyone has seen it on Disney+.

 

5 hours ago, technoblue said:

The lawyers seem unprepared to tackle this without falling back to a pre-streaming/pre-pandemic POV. That may come back to bite them.  

Really, this entire lawsuit and the few copycat suits likely to follow are all a product of how the pandemic influenced the release of motion pictures.

Nobody ever considered the possibility that streaming would become a primary path for releasing a big budget motion picture.  Everyone saw stream-on-demand as little different to home video physical media.  Pandemic shutdowns changed the market considerably and none of the pre-pandemic contracts contained adequate provision for the idea of big budget Hollywood movies going directly to streaming in parallel with, or instead of, a theatrical release. 

Periwinkle Entertainment and Johansson are unlikely to get anywhere with this lawsuit because their argument literally hinges on the assertion that what they thought key terms used in the contract meant is just as enforceable as how those key terms are actually defined in the text of the contract itself.

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Looks like Scarjo just burned a big fat bridge over nothing. If her lawyers were giving her good advice they would have told her not to burn that bridge. It doesn't look like she has a chance of wining, and she burnt that bridge. 

Despite thinking you're in the right (or may actually be in the right), sometimes it doesn't pay to take on the man.

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For the future - contracts for movies will now include the possibility of releases being streamed/wide release built right in.  This is a momentary blip brought about (more quickly then it would otherwise have happened but it WAS going to happen sooner or later) by changing consumer preferences.

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13 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

The remainder of the argument by Johansson's representation is kind of hilariously flimsy... amounting as it does to bizarre claims including:

  • The theater market will magically recover in a few months time.  (With the COVID-19 delta variant on the rise, this is hilariously unlikely)
  • That Marvel Studios would have/should have delayed the film indefinitely until the theater market recovered to pre-pandemic levels if Disney had not intervened.

That's what I see as the biggest issue with her claim.  If it was only in theaters a large number of the potential audiences would still choose to avoid large crowded places.  What's a few more months to wait for the later streaming release when we've already been waiting a year?  If they kept delaying it until theaters recovered would anybody still care to see this movie?   What really hurt this movie was making at after her story in the Avengers concluded.

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39 minutes ago, Roy Focker said:

That's what I see as the biggest issue with her claim.  If it was only in theaters a large number of the potential audiences would still choose to avoid large crowded places.  What's a few more months to wait for the later streaming release when we've already been waiting a year?  If they kept delaying it until theaters recovered would anybody still care to see this movie?   What really hurt this movie was making at after her story in the Avengers concluded.

In engineering terms this movie would be considered a cascade failure. One bad initial choice/failure cascaded into a whole bunch of them.

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Yeah, this lawsuit seems flimsy.

🤨 Also, who the F* wrote this:

Quote

In short, Disney chose to placate Wall Street investors and pad its bottom line, rather than allow its subsidiary Marvel to comply with the Agreement.... (what does Wall Street have to do this this?)

The icing on the cake for Disney was that, with the bulk of Ms. Johansson’s compensation being tied to box office receipts, Disney knew that the cannibalization of such receipts by Disney+ would save Marvel... (Icing on the cake????)

...
Adding insult to injury, Ms. Johansson has spent the last several months fulfilling her own obligation under the Agreement to promote the Picture—and... (Little dramatic there)

The only thing I see has merit is, (a) does Ms. Johansson's contract or SAG monetary compensation (if any) rules stipulate that a streaming or direct-to-home release must be done after an exclusive theatrical release? Yes? No? The rest is moot. Did Disney release the film to enough theaters to satisfy? I would assume they did.

Spirit-of-the-contract is not letter-of-the-contract. Let me use a more appropriate saying: "If it ain’t on the page, it ain’t on the stage".

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18 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

For the avoidance of doubt, if [Marvel] 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).

This seems pretty cut and dry and absolute. It doesn't say they can do a theatrical release AND a home streaming release. It says wide theatrical release. Period.

I'm not a lawyer, but I don't see how the contract allows Disney to release the movie to streaming.

18 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

arguing that at the time the contract was signed it was understood by all parties that a "wide theatrical release" meant an exclusive theatrical release for an extended period of time exceeding 90 days even though the contract does not stipulate such

Seems like it very much does stipulate exclusively theatrical. These are the operative words from the contract: "If release, then theatrical". The contract language specifies exactly what they are allowed to do. If it's not in there, they can't do it. At least that's how I'm reading it.

It's kind of like if I promised to pay you $100 USD for a job, and then I tried to pay you $10 is USD and $90 in packaging peanuts. And then said "the contract didn't specify exclusively USD".

Edited by danth
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15 minutes ago, danth said:

This seems pretty cut and dry and absolute. It doesn't say they can do a theatrical release AND a home streaming release. It says wide theatrical release. Period.

I'm not a lawyer, but I don't see how the contract allows Disney to release the movie to streaming.

 

As long as a release of 1500 screens is done that satisfies the language.  If it meant EXCLUSIVE it has to say it somewhere.  It is nowhere near the same thing as paying in kind either.  (There are laws covering that kind of thing but this being an international concern it may have needed to be considered somewhere as well).

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20 minutes ago, Dynaman said:

If it meant EXCLUSIVE it has to say it somewhere.

I don't think so. "If release, then theatrical". Home streaming is not theatrical. A theatrical release literally means in theaters. It specifies exactly the kind of release. It does not include home video, streaming, etc.

There would be no point of having a contracts specifying how movies were released if they weren't binding. This argument that "they CAN do what's in the contract...Or something else" doesn't make sense. It defeats the purpose of a contract.

Edited by danth
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There is no statement of time frame.  As long as they do a 1500 theater release they have fulfilled the terms of the contract.  Disney could just as easily claim that THEIR interpretation of that clause was to disallow a rolling release.  When I was young that was a common method of releasing a film.  

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14 minutes ago, Dynaman said:

There is no statement of time frame.

Did you read the whole contract? Do you know what time frames are inherent in industry standards? Did you know that industry standards are actually considered in these kinds of lawsuits, and that they affect how contracts are interpreted by judges?

I think you guys are handing Disney the benefit of any ambiguity here, without giving and benefit to the plaintiff.

Edited by danth
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3 hours ago, azrael said:

Spirit-of-the-contract is not letter-of-the-contract. Let me use a more appropriate saying: "If it ain’t on the page, it ain’t on the stage".

 

Even if there is a "spirit", that was simply exorcised by Covid

"Yes we would have liked to have stayed in the spirit of our normal business Your Honor,... but as we -including Ms. Johannson- know, a certain case of force majeure called Covid-19 has made that impossible"

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I’m very curious about how this is going to go. It doesn’t seem to be a simple decision and this could affect some upcoming films. There’s Shang Chi for the mouse and as far as HBO Max they’re doing free non premium releases of Suicide Squad and Dune. Dune is going to be very reliant on the money it brings in to even be able to green light a sequel to the franchise. We may just get the one film and that’s it.

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2 hours ago, danth said:

This seems pretty cut and dry and absolute. It doesn't say they can do a theatrical release AND a home streaming release. It says wide theatrical release. Period.

I'm not a lawyer, but I don't see how the contract allows Disney to release the movie to streaming.

Seems like it very much does stipulate exclusively theatrical. These are the operative words from the contract: "If release, then theatrical". The contract language specifies exactly what they are allowed to do. If it's not in there, they can't do it. At least that's how I'm reading it.

The lawsuit specifies a "wide theatrical release", which is what Disney did. The suit indicates that historically, the theatrical run is 82-159 days uninterrupted. Nowhere in the suit does it state that theatrical release was to be exclusively theatrical in reference to the contract.

Quote

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)

If Disney gave the movie that kind of release, then they have fulfilled their obligation according to the contract.

1 hour ago, danth said:

I think you guys are handing Disney the benefit of any ambiguity here, without giving and benefit to the plaintiff.

I would like nothing better than to see Disney's ass handed to them, but this lawsuit throws out a lot of "traditional" and "normal" practices. The suit claims "exclusive" release but does the contract specify that? I'm not seeing a lot of quotation of the contract but more "agreement" of the parties. Again, "spirit", not "letter".

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3 hours ago, danth said:

Did you read the whole contract? Do you know what time frames are inherent in industry standards? Did you know that industry standards are actually considered in these kinds of lawsuits, and that they affect how contracts are interpreted by judges?

We don't have to... because the Factual Background section of this filing by the attorneys representing Johansson and her agency, Periwinkle Entertainment, is quite literally meant to be (as in, "this is how it's supposed to work") the facts of the matter put forward in the manner that best supports their claim.

If the contract stipulated that Black Widow was required to be released exclusively in theaters for a period of time, the Factual Background section of the filing would contain quotes from the relevant verbiage.

What they have - and remember, these are the facts laid out by Johansson and Periwinkle's attourneys to best support their claim against Disney and Marvel Studios - amounts to a complaint that Disney violated the spirit of the contract rather than the letter.  The filing itself indirectly admits that Disney and Marvel have complied with the letter of the contract in terms of how it defines a "wide theatrical release" (playing on 1,500+ screens worldwide), and is making bizarre Karen-esque argument that the court should enforce what Johansson and Periwinkle Entetaiment believe the term should mean rather than how the term is defined in the actual language of the contract.

 

3 hours ago, danth said:

I think you guys are handing Disney the benefit of any ambiguity here, without giving and benefit to the plaintiff.

Not really, no.  We're reading the filing prepared by the attorneys representing Johansson and Periwinkle Entertainment and seeing what's there for anyone to see... that there's little to nothing in the way of support for the claim they're making in a presentation of the factual background cherrypicked and specifically tailored to best support that claim.

A fair amount of it - like the claim that Disney is passively supporting piracy of its own IP by sending movies to Disney+ or the one about how the pandemic is going to just vanish in a few months - is just gun-eating insanity.

I'm not a lawyer, but I have enough experience with contract law and IP law from my day job for this to feel like a spurious and incredibly flimsy lawsuit to me.

My suspicion is that this lawsuit is not intended to succeed, or even make it past the initial review and petitioning.  This move is pure theater - far better acting than Johansson's own - intended to allow Periwinkle Entertainment to apply pressure to Disney in the public sphere to give them money they're not actually contractually entitled to.

This is all about Johansson and her agency having buyer's remorse over the contract they signed over a year before the pandemic started being a poor fit to the new realities of the industry.

Edited by Seto Kaiba
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8 hours ago, Big s said:

I’m very curious about how this is going to go. It doesn’t seem to be a simple decision and this could affect some upcoming films. There’s Shang Chi for the mouse and as far as HBO Max they’re doing free non premium releases of Suicide Squad and Dune. Dune is going to be very reliant on the money it brings in to even be able to green light a sequel to the franchise.

I imagine actors, directors, film crews, etc. have been talking to their respective representing agents/bodies and re-evaluating their contracts and working conditions moving forward to make them more pandemic resilient. Black Widow was produced pre-pandemic so those stipulations are in play. P

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I think the idea of the case has merit, but I think this is just going to wind up as one of the big legal footnotes in post-pandemic Hollywood:

"Don't pull a Black Widow.  Negotiate for streaming from the start."

Whatever the cause, whether it be people not going to theaters because of the pandemic, or because they decided to stream from home, the pandemic created a worst-case scenario for anyone who didn't negotiate for enough of a cut of streaming revenue.  

Hindsight is 20/20, and no one could have guessed what would happen, but here we are.  All of these sorts of contracts probably should have been immediately re-negotiated once streaming became the more attractive option for a large chunk of the population, but I wonder if that even would have been possible.

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23 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

If the contract stipulated that Black Widow was required to be released exclusively in theaters for a period of time, the Factual Background section of the filing would contain quotes from the relevant verbiage.

 

On 8/1/2021 at 4:42 PM, azrael said:

The lawsuit specifies a "wide theatrical release", which is what Disney did. The suit indicates that historically, the theatrical run is 82-159 days uninterrupted. Nowhere in the suit does it state that theatrical release was to be exclusively theatrical in reference to the contract.

The argument is that a "theatrical release" is by definition exclusively in theaters. Otherwise the contract would have specified "hybrid theatrical/home streaming" or whatever.

Pretty big smoking gun here:

Quote

In a March 2019 email included in the suit, Marvel Chief Counsel Dave Galluzzi said the release would be according to a traditional theatrical model, adding, “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.”

 

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WB wrote Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins $20 million dollar checks each when they sent Wonder Woman 2 to HBO Max to avoid exactly this situation.  Even though that movie was possibly even a bigger turd.  Disney should have done the same to avoid the knock on their image by screwing over the first female Avenger.  Especially when they were marketing Black Widow as a MeToo movie. 

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5 hours ago, danth said:

The argument is that a "theatrical release" is by definition exclusively in theaters. Otherwise the contract would have specified "hybrid theatrical/home streaming" or whatever.

Yes and no.

If you read the filing, Johansson and Periwinkle Ent.'s attorneys openly admit the contract doesn't actually stipulate that.

The only language they were able to find in the contract that defined "wide theatrical release" was a condition regarding the minimum acceptable number of screens showing the film (1,500).

The actual argument being made in the filing is that Johansson and Periwinkle Entertainment believed the term "wide theatrical release" to also mean "released exclusively in theaters" based on pre-pandemic business practices in which a release to streaming was broadly analogous in nature and scheduling to a home video release.  It's not actually defined that way in the contract.  They're asking the court to enforce their belief of what the contract should mean over what it actually says.

The contract also, incidentally, mentions that the release is at the producer's discretion and that Johansson is entitled to "consultation" about the release... but there's nothing that her attorneys could present to say she had any leverage to renegotiate the contract based on changes in the release plan.

This suit has very little chance of gaining any traction at all, because Periwinkle and Johansson are arguing against the language of the contract as it is written.  It's unfortunate, but this is a good lesson in why you always explicitly define any terms which are not defined by the law in your contracts.

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When wealthy individuals/entities sue each other, there's usually a lot more at play than the lawsuits. Picking apart the legal merits here may be failing to see the forest for the trees. It's also presumptuous to assume what impact this might have on a career... even HG and BigWest are working together now (haha, maybe a bad example). In business, I frequently see the entity who files the lawsuit has done a pretty savvy calculation of what the lawsuit will cost to defend and has concocted a number of ways to drive that cost up and is ultimately looking to settle for a lot less than that number. I've heard someone say "It will cost you $60 million in lawyer fees and 2 years of your life to get a ruling on this or you can pay $40 million and admit no fault and end it today." Maybe that's all that's happening here. Maybe the point of the lawsuit isn't money at all, maybe it's publicity or a principle. Maybe the lawsuit is a statement by a powerful and wealthy woman meant to escalate her standing somehow by taking on Goliath. We have no idea... so saying "Meh she's stupid, she's going to lose" might mean you don't understand what the actual goal is. I mean, she's an actress, even if she only gets a bunch of press from this, it's easy to imagine it might lead to more work and be in a better position to negotiate so very easy to recoup her costs, and it seemed like her Disney days were coming to an end anyway. 

Edited by jenius
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1 hour ago, jenius said:

When wealthy individuals/entities sue each other, there's usually a lot more at play than the lawsuits. Picking apart the legal merits here may be failing to see the forest for the trees. [...] In business, I frequently see the entity who files the lawsuit has done a pretty savvy calculation of what the lawsuit will cost to defend and has concocted a number of ways to drive that cost up and is ultimately looking to settle for a lot less than that number. [...] We have no idea... so saying "Meh she's stupid, she's going to lose" might mean you don't understand what the actual goal is. [...]

Eh... as I pointed out a few posts ago, the actual goal behind this lawsuit is pretty transparent.

This lawsuit is so short on legal merit that it has very little chance of success if it gets to a judicial review, discovery, and petitioning.  It's clearly not meant to succeed.  It's performative litigation.  Its goal is to be publicized as widely as possible and in as inflammatory a manner as possible.  They want to use the public pressure generated by the 24/7 news cycle and a horde of internet white knights to twist Disney's arm in the public sphere so Disney'll cut them a check to make the bad PR go away.

The actual content of the suit is pretty stupid, but the tactic isn't, and its lack of legal merit is borderline irrelevant because it's not intended to ever go before a judge.  It's a tool.

Edited by Seto Kaiba
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One other item on the theatrical release time windows.  I believe the requirements (and contracts) for that were between the studios and the movie theater association, whoever exactly that may be.  Actor contracts (like this one) were written with the belief that the theaters would keep their contracts as is - but the situation forced the theaters to renegotiate with the studios which made a problem for the actor contracts.  I know I read of a similar case (one contract relying on another contract to be enforced) but that case also did not stipulate and the court case had no choice - if one side can say "this is what the contract SHOULD have said" and make it stick then contracts are worthless. 

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6 hours ago, azrael said:

Here’s a TLDR:

 

 

I think what is the most entertaining is that the movie only "made" $80M.

Pretty weak for a movie that cost at least $200M to make AND is an Avengers movie.

You'e movie was trash Scarjo. What you should be doing is firing your agent for getting you in a contract that paid you off box office receipts. Seriously, how delusional does she nave to be to think that was going to net her a big payday? The movie was never going to make money.

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25 minutes ago, sqidd said:

 

You'e movie was trash Scarjo. What you should be doing is firing your agent for getting you in a contract that paid you off box office receipts. Seriously, how delusional does she nave to be to think that was going to net her a big payday? The movie was never going to make money.

Prior to "modern times" that was not a bad way of calculating things.  You knew that rentals and DVD sales after would make money but if you balanced the box office take properly you took that into account in your BO take AND got a chance to get paid quicker.  (this is still Hollywood after all where a blockbuster movie can make no money according to the accountants).

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