Disney, Scarlett Johansson Settle ‘Black Widow’ Lawsuit

Black Widow star Scarlett Johansson and the Walt Disney Co. have reportedly reached a settlement in the actor’s breach-of-contract dispute. Johansson sued Disney alleging the studio’s concurrent theatrical/Disney+ PVOD release strategy for the Marvel Cinematic Universe release deprived the actress upwards of five-times her reported $20 million compensation. Financial details of the settlement were not disclosed.

“I’m very pleased that we have been able to come to a mutual agreement with Scarlett Johansson regarding Black Widow,” said Alan Bergman, chairman of Walt Disney Studios.

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Johansson, in a statement, said she was pleased with the resolution, and “incredibly proud of the work we’ve done together over the years and have greatly enjoyed my creative relationship with the team,” as reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Indeed, Johansson is set to work with Disney on a number of future projects, including Tower of Terror, which is based on a Disney amusement park ride.

The litigation underscores a new dynamic in Hollywood when it comes to compensating talent, directors, producers and studios. For decades, major stars have tied total compensation to a movie’s box office — a financial situation that apparently involved Black Widow.

With the pandemic wreaking havoc on the box office, and Disney pushing hard on consumer adoption of its branded Disney+ streaming platform, the studio made Black Widow available as a $29.99 premium add-on for Disney+ subscribers on the same day the movie was released in theaters.

Black Widow generated more than $80 million in its opening domestic weekend (July 9-11) box office — a record tally at that point during the pandemic. Disney also heralded $60 million in higher-margin Premier Access transactions from Disney+ subscribers the first weekend.

But when Black Widow ticket sales plummeted nearly 70% during the second weekend, exhibitor critics and Johansson cried foul, contending Premier Access had sabotaged the film’s domestic box office.

Further lawsuit allegations suggested Disney CEO Bob Chapek and executive chairman Bob Iger’s performance bonuses and total compensation were tied to the success of Disney+, which ended the most-recent fiscal period with more than 100 million global subscribers.

Speaking Sept. 21 on a recent investor event, Chapek said the studio was re-evaluating talent contracts signed before the pandemic, and how it would handle such matters in the COVID era.

“Talent deals going forward will have to reflect that the world is changing,” Chapek told the virtual Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference.

‘Black Widow’ Debuts at No. 1 on Disc Sales Charts, Pushing ‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’ to No. 2

Marvel Studios’ Black Widow debuted at No. 1 on the NPD VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart the week ended Sept. 18.

The latest adventure from the Marvel Cinematic Universe outsold the No. 2 title by a 4-to-1 margin. The Disney-distributed Black Widow earned more than $183 million at the domestic box office, but is the subject of a lawsuit from star Scarlett Johansson over profit sharing based on the theory its potential earnings were depressed by it being available as a premium add-on to the Disney+ streaming service.

The No. 2 title on both charts was Warner’s Zack Snyder’s Justice League, after debuting in the top spot a week earlier.

The No. 3 title on both charts was another newcomer, DreamWorks Animation’s The Boss Baby: Family Business, from Universal Pictures. The sequel was also available in a two-pack with the first “Boss Baby” movie, splitting sales between the standalone version and the two-pack, which was No. 17 overall. The combined tally of the standalone and double-feature options would have given discs containing the “Boss Baby” sequel enough sales to just barely put it in the second spot.

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The No. 4 overall seller was Disney’s Hocus Pocus, the 1993 family friendly spookfest that is getting a boost now that retailers are preparing for Halloween.

No.5 on the overall disc chart was Lionsgate’s Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, which was the No. 4 Blu-ray seller.

The No. 5 Blu-ray Disc seller was Warner’s The Shawshank Redemption, which climbed back up the charts thanks to the release of a new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray edition, which accounted for 98% of its sales for the week. Shawshank was No. 13 overall.

The only other newcomer in the top 10 for the week was Warner’s direct-to-video animated movie Straight Outta Nowhere: Scooby-Doo! Meets Courage the Cowardly Dog, a DVD-only release that hit No. 7 overall.

Blu-ray Disc formats accounted for 71% of total Black Widow unit sales, compared with 50% for The Boss Baby: Family Business. The 4K Ultra HD edition contributed to 27% of Black Widow‘s total, and 4% of Boss Baby‘s.

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The Media Play News rental chart for the week ended Sept. 19 had The Boss Baby: Family Business in the top spot, with Black Widow at No. 2.

Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard slipped to No. 3 after a month in the top spot.

Rounding out the top five rentals were Sony Pictures’ Peter Rabbit 2 at No. 4, and Warner’s The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It at No. 5.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 9-18-21
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 9-19-21
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray Discs for Week Ended 9-18-21
Top 20 Blu-ray Market Share for Week Ended 9-18-21
Sales Report for Week Ended 9-18-21
Digital Transactions Snapshot for Week Ended 9-20-21

 

‘Black Widow,’ ‘Boss Baby 2,’ ‘Forever Purge’ Top List of Sept. 14 Disc and Digital Releases

Marvel Studios’ Black Widow and DreamWorks Animation’s The Boss Baby: Family Business lead the slate of new Blu-ray Disc and DVD releases Sept. 14, while Universal’s The Forever Purge becomes available for digital purchase.

Black Widow, distributed by Disney, arrives on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. The spy thriller stars Scarlett Johansson as her “Avengers” character Natasha Romanoff, whose reunion with former colleagues forces her to confront a past she thought she left behind. The cast also includes Florence Pugh, David Harbour and Rachel Weisz. It is the top earner at the domestic box office so far in 2021 with $183.1 million and has $372 million globally, It was also available concurrently as a $29.99 Premier Access add-on to the Disney+ streaming service, a fact that led Johansson to sue the studio on the theory that the online release undercut the film’s box office, causing her to miss out on millions of dollars of potential bonus earnings based on the box office.

The Boss Baby: Family Business is available on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Sept. 14 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. The sequel welcomes back the Templeton brothers — Tim (voice of James Marsden) and his Boss Baby little bro Ted (Alec Baldwin) — who have become adults and drifted away from each other. Enter new boss baby Tina (Amy Sedaris) determined to bring them together again and inspire a new family business. The voice cast also includes James Marsden, Ariana Greenblatt, Jeff Goldblum, Eva Longoria, James McGrath, Jimmy Kimmel and Lisa Kudrow. The film earned $57 millon at the domestic box office.

Two of animation’s top canine characters team up in Straight Outta Nowhere: Scooby-Doo Meets Courage the Cowardly Dog, a new, full-length animated family film now available on digital and DVD from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, Straight Outta Nowhere: Scooby-Doo Meets Courage the Cowardly Dog finds the teen sleuths in the town of Nowhere, Kan., where they meet Courage the Cowardly Dog. There they investigate what makes the backwoods hometown of Courage and his owners Eustace and Muriel Bagge one of the weirdest places on Earth. The canine colleagues sniff out a strange object, putting the team on the trail of a giant cicada monster and her winged warriors.

The documentary The Human Factor Sept. 14 becomes available for digital purchase, and on DVD and Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. With unprecedented access to the foremost American negotiators, The Human Factor offers a behind-the-scenes story of how in the past 25 years the United States came within reach of securing peace between Israel and its neighbors. The documentary, an official selection at the Telluride Film Festival, features Dennis Ross, Martin Indyk, Gamal Helal, Aaron David Miller, Daniel Kurtzer and Robert Malley.

The Chinese boxing-meets-mixed martial arts drama Crazy Fist arrives on Blu-ray, DVD and for digital purchase Sept. 14 from Well Go USA Entertainment. First time feature film director Guo Qing (who also appears in the film) directs Dragon Blade-alums Steve Yoo and Wang Wei, plus Collin Chou (Matrix II, III), Xiaoming Huang (Ip Man 2), Wei Zhao (Mulan: Rise of a Warrior) and retired professional bodybuilder Kai Greene (“Stranger Things”). In the film, after an opponent dies mid-match, a prominent MMA champion swore never to fight again, instead retiring to run his family’s international business. However, when his best friend dies under suspicious circumstances during another tournament, he has no choice but to step back in the ring to help uncover the truth.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment releases the HBO limited series Mare of Easttown on DVD Sept. 14. A Blu-ray Disc edition is available from Warner Archive Collection. The seven-part drama stars Kate Winslet as Mare Sheehan, a respected small-town Pennsylvania detective investigating a local murder while also balancing her own personal life, which is rapidly falling apart around her. The cast also includes Julianne Nicholson, Jean Smart, Angourie Rice, Evan Peters, Guy Pearce, David Denman, Joe Tippett, Cailee Spaeny, John Douglas Thompson, Patrick Murney, James McArdle, Sosie Bacon, Neal Huff, Kate Arrington, Ruby Cruz, Eisa Davis, Enid Graham, Justin Hurtt-Dunkley, Izzy King, Mackenzie Lansing, Cameron Mann, Kiah McKirnan, Jack Mulhern, Anthony Norman, Drew Scheid and Madeleine Weinstein.

The Shawshank Redemption debuts on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack and digital Sept. 14 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. The 1994 film received seven Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Morgan Freeman), Best Original Score and Best Screenplay, and marked the feature directorial debut of its screenwriter Frank Darabont, nominated for his adapted screenplay. Based on Stephen King’s novella Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, the drama tells the story of Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), a prominent banker unjustly convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment at Maine’s Shawshank Prison. He is befriended by longtime convict Red (Freeman) who’s been in long enough to know the ropes and helps him cope with the frightening realities of prison life.  As the two men grow closer, so does the sense of hope that can truly set them free.

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CBS and Paramount Home Entertainment release Magnum P.I. — Season Three on DVD Sept. 14. A remake of the 1980s series, “Magnum P.I.” stars Jay Hernandez as Tom Magnum, an American hero and Navy SEAL returning from war who uses his military skills to become a private investigator in Oahu, Hawaii. Magnum lives in a guest cottage on Robin’s Nest, the luxurious estate where he works as a security consultant to supplement his P.I. business.

Mill Creek Entertainment releases “The Ultraman” and “Ultraman 80”  in their North American DVD debut Sept. 14. Mill Creek Entertainment has licensed the available “Ultraman” back-catalog via international distribution company Indigo Entertainment from Tsuburaya Productions. “The Ultraman” is the eighth original entry in the “Ultraman” series. This DVD collection includes all 50 episodes. In the animated series, across the planet Earth, strange glowing objects in the form of an unknown language appear in the skies. In order to investigate these strange phenomena, the Earth Defense Forces form the Science Guard Agency. The ninth original series is “Ultraman 80.” This 50-episode series follows Takeshi Yamato, a 22-year-old young man who lives a double life. During the daytime, he is a rookie but popular science teacher at a junior high school in Tokyo. But after school and on Sundays he works as a member of the elite UGM (Utility Government Members), an Earth defense organization that tackles difficult situations such as alien invasion and attacks from monsters.

The documentary Fish & Men comes out on DVD, VOD and digital sellthrough Sept. 14 from Virgil Films. Fish & Men explores the high cost of cheap fish in the modern seafood economy, and the forces threatening local fishing communities as well as the public health.

The horror film Companion will come out on on demand Sept. 14 from Level 33 Entertainment. In the film’s plot, in 2030, society fell as malicious entities appeared around the world. The survivors fight each other and the dead. In this landscape, Ella Grace’s burden of guilt is exposed. The past, and the horrors of what she will become, force Ella to kill what she loves in order to discover the terrifying meaning of the ghosts that feed on her fear.

Breaking Glass Pictures Sept. 14 releases The Influencer, a comedy thriller starring real-life social influencer and comedian Kasia Szarek (A24’s Pleasure) and Shantell Yasmine Abeydeera (Girls Like Magic, Dating in Place), on DVD and for digital purchase. From first-time director Meghan Weinstein, The Influencer is a tale that examines the life of a vain social media influencer named Abbie, who is known for her fashion, lifestyle, and makeup videos. She signs a coveted contract with Nutrocon, a cosmetic company known to pollute, test on animals, and treat female workers unfairly, and almost immediately she is accosted and tied up by a group of activists in her home. They force her to film a video advertising a mysterious new makeup kit, and as their plan unfolds, we learn the real reason for their visit and Abbie’s façade begins to fade.

Also this week, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Sept. 17 will make director James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad available for premium digital ownership. Written and directed by Gunn, the film is based on the DC Comics series about imprisoned supervillains who are recruited by the U.S. government for covert operations, and have a bomb implanted in their heads that will explode if they don’t comply. A sequel to 2016’s Suicide Squad and the 10th film in the DC Extended Universe franchise, the film finds government agent Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) sending the team to infiltrate the island nation of Corto Maltese to eliminate a potentially dangerous weapon. Among the recruits this time around are Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), the sharpshooter Bloodsport (Idris Elba), the jingoistic Peacemaker (John Cena), team leader Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), Polka-Dot Man (David Dastmalchian), Ratcatcher 2 (Daniela Melchior), and King Shark (voiced by Sylvester Stallone). The film will be released on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Oct. 26.

A complete list of new disc and digital releases, compiled each week by the Media Play News market research team, can be found here.

‘Black Widow,’ ‘Batman: The Long Halloween — Part II,’ ‘The Misfits’ Lead List of Aug. 10 Digital and Disc Releases

Aug. 10 sees Marvel’s Black Widow become available for digital purchase, while new disc releases include the second half of Batman: The Long Halloween from Warner, and heist movie The Misfits, from Paramount.

Black Widow, from Disney-owned Marvel Studios, arrives early on all major digital platforms Aug. 10 following a concurrent run in theaters and as a Disney+ Premier Access PVOD add-on. Scarlett Johansson reprises her role as Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, in this action-packed spy thriller in which she confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises. Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, Natasha must deal with her history as a spy and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger. Along with Johansson, Florence Pugh stars as Yelena, David Harbour portrays Alexei/The Red Guardian and Rachel Weisz is Melina. Black Widow, the first film in Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is directed by Cate Shortland and produced by Kevin Feige. The film is the top-grossing U.S. earner with $174 million and counting, and has earned $360 million worldwide. But it has also courted legal controversy, as Johansson is suing Disney over the film’s profits, claiming the box office take was diminished by the simultaneous PVOD strategy, thus lowering her potential earnings from the movie.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment releases Batman: The Long Halloween — Part Two on Blu-ray Disc Aug. 10. It is already available as a digital download. The film continues the storyline from Part One, released June 22. It is based on the 1996-97 comic book miniseries that takes place early in Batman’s vigilante career, as the young crimefighter forms a pact with the city’s only two uncorrupt lawmen, police Capt. James Gordon and DA Harvey Dent, to take down organized crime in Gotham City, only to be tested by a serial killer who murders his victims on holidays throughout the year. The voice cast includes Jensen Ackles as Batman, Josh Duhamel as Harvey Dent, Billy Burke as Jim Gordon, Katee Sackhoff as Poison Ivy, Titus Welliver as Carmine Falcone, David Dastmalchian as Calendar Man, Troy Baker as Joker, Amy Landecker as Barbara Gordon, Julie Nathanson as Gilda Dent, Fred Tatasciore as Solomon Grundy, Jim Pirri as Sal Maroni, Alastair Duncan as Alfred, and the late Naya Rivera as Catwoman in one of her final performances, recorded before her death in 2020. A 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Batman: The Long Halloween will arrive in 2022 with both parts combined into a longer film.

The action film The Misfits comes out on Blu-ray and DVD Aug. 10 from Paramount Home Entertainment. Directed by Renny Harlin, The Misfits stars Pierce Brosnan, Rami Jaber, Hermione Corfield, Jamie Chung, Mike Angelo, Tim Roth and Nick Cannon. The story follows a band of modern-day Robin Hoods known as “The Misfits,” who recruit renowned thief Richard Pace (Brosnan) to help them pull off the heist of the century to steal millions in gold bars stashed underneath one of the world’s most secure prisons.

The thriller Profile arrives on and Blu-ray Disc and DVD Aug. 10 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Inspired by true events, Profile follows an undercover British journalist on her quest to bait and expose a terrorist recruiter through social media, while trying not to be sucked in by her recruiter and lured into becoming a militant extremist herself. The unconventional thriller directed by Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted) plays out entirely on a computer screen in the screen life format.

Liosngate releases the Australian sci-fi actioner Occupation: Rainfall on Blu-ray Disc and DVD Aug. 10. A sequel to the 2018 film Occupation, written and directed by Luke Sparke, the film chronicles humanity’s fight to survive two years into an intergalactic invasion of Earth. While casualties of the desperate ground war mount by the day, the resistance — along with some unexpected allies — uncovers a plot that could bring the war to a decisive end. The cast includes Daniel Gillies, Dan Ewing, Mark Coles Smith, Temuera Morrison and Ken Jeong.

The thriller Till Death, starring Megan Fox, will arrive on Blu-ray Disc and DVD Aug. 10. It is already available for digital purchase from Screen Media. Fox plays a woman stuck in a stale marriage who is surprised when her whisks her away to their secluded lake house for a romantic evening on their 10th anniversary. But everything changes when she wakes up to discover herself handcuffed to his dead body. Trapped and isolated in the dead of winter, she must fight off hired killers to escape a twisted that gets more sinister at every turn. The cast also includes Callan Mulvey, Eoin Macken, Aml Ameen and Jack Roth.

Lionsgate releases the coming-of-age romantic drama Finding You on DVD and as a Blu-ray/DVD/Digital combo pack Aug. 10. Based on the young-adult novel There You’ll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones, the film stars Rose Reid as aspiring violinist Finley Sinclair, who signs up for a semester abroad program in Ireland after her audition for an elite New York conservatory goes awry. Staying in a quaint Irish coastal village, she encounters charming heartthrob movie star Beckett Rush (Jedidiah Goodacre of “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina”), who is there to film the next installment of his medieval fantasy-action franchise. As Beckett’s free-spiritedness helps Finley find the heart and passion that was missing from her music, Finley’s honesty inspires Beckett to pursue his true passion, and they discover that a change of scenery may be all they need to find themselves — and true love. The cast also includes Katherine McNamara, Vanessa Redgrave, Tom Everett Scott and Saoirse-Monica Jackson.

MPI Media Group Aug. 10 releases Scenes from an Empty Church on DVD. In a locked-down New York City, two priests open their church doors to those seeking salvation during the pandemic. From the commonplace to the truly metaphysical, their visitors reflect the full spectrum of personal crises of spirituality. Throughout their encounters with the city’s sweetest, wildest and weirdest, the two priests learn the importance of connection, empathy and open-mindedness.

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Two horror films, Lust and Through the Shadow, and the science-fiction fantasy I Am Toxic come out on DVD Aug. 10 from Jinga Films and MVD Entertainment Group.

In the Spanish-language Lust, a famous crime writer becomes a victim after a crazed fan brutally attacks her. Isolated in her apartment she tries to recover but continues to feel threatened after experiencing strange events. Her psychiatrist believes that it’s all in her mind, a result of post-traumatic stress, but she is convinced that her attacker is stalking her and resorts to extreme violence to protect herself. Extras include behind-the-scenes featurettes, stills and a trailer.

The Portuguese-language Through the Shadow follows prim and assuming Laura who moves to the countryside of 20th century Rio de Janeiro and is unprepared for life on an isolated plantation. Hired as a nanny for two young orphans who live on their uncle’s coffee farm, she soon notices that things are not all as they seem. Confronted with continual apparitions, and noting the children’s increasingly ambiguous behavior, Laura becomes convinced in the presence of hostile spirits whom she believes are intent on taking possession of her young charges. With growing concerns for their safety, she strives to unravel the mysteries of her new home without realizing that it may be herself who is in mortal danger. Based on Henry James classic novel The Turn Of The Screw.

In the Spanish-language I Am Toxic, a man wakes in a world ravaged by biological warfare with no memory of his previous life. Taken prisoner by scavengers he meets a young woman who helps him escape. As the scavengers pursue them through barren wastelands he discovers that he must make the ultimate sacrifice to save her.

Nickelodeon’s Are You Afraid of the Dark? — Curse of the Shadows, a follow-up to 2019’s reimagined limited series horror anthology, comes out on DVD Aug. 10 from Paramount Home Entertainment and Nickelodeon Home Entertainment. Based on the ‘90s kids’ cult classic and featuring a  new story, the second season includes six hour-long episodes that follow an all-new group of kids as they tell the tale of a curse that has been cast over their small seaside town, haunted by a villain named the Shadowman. After their leader goes missing, it’s up to the remaining members of the Midnight Society to break the curse and free the Shadowman’s victims, before they too disappear into the shadows.

The Friday the 13th 8-Movie Collection arrives on Blu-ray Aug. 10 from Paramount Home Entertainment. Set for release before the only Friday the 13th of the year on Aug. 13, the horror series following psychotic killer Jason Voorhees includes newly remastered versions of the first four films and hours of previously released special features including deleted scenes, making of featurettes and commentaries. The set also includes access to digital copies of all eight movies, including the “uncut” edition of the original Friday the 13th.

A complete list of new disc and digital releases, compiled each week by the Media Play News market research team, can be found here.

Scarlett Johansson Sues Disney Over ‘Black Widow’ PVOD Release

In a significant development, Scarlett Johansson, star of Disney/Marvel Studios’ Black Widow, has filed a lawsuit against Disney for its concurrent theatrical and Premier Access VOD release of the Marvel superhero movie earlier this month.

The suit, filed in U.S. Superior Court in Los Angeles, alleges her contract with Marvel Entertainment and Disney was breached by the distribution strategy that seeks to release select movies simultaneously in a (shortened) 45-day theatrical window and into consumer homes via premium VOD.

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Black Widow was marketed to Disney+ subscribers as a $29.99 add-on, which resulted in Disney reporting more than $60 million in incremental revenue over the same weekend the theatrical release generated $80 million at the domestic box office and $78 million internationally. The dual-release strategy angered some distributors who claimed the PVOD release took revenue away from exhibitors and undermined the movie’s box office lifespan.

To Johansson, whose financial compensation is tied to box office revenue of Black Widow — not streaming — the move resulted in a direct hit on her compensation. A media report suggests the PVOD release cost Johansson $50 million in compensation.

“Disney intentionally induced Marvel’s breach of the agreement, without justification, in order to prevent Ms. Johansson from realizing the full benefit of her bargain with Marvel,” read Johansson’s complaint.

Disney, the global box office champ in 2019 with more than $11 billion in ticket sales — largely from Marvel movies — quietly transitioned some movie releases to Premier Access, beginning with Mulan last Labor Day — as a way of combating the pandemic’s impact on moviegoers and theatrical attendance.

In a media statement, Disney claimed there is “no merit whatsoever” to Johansson’s litigation. It went further to lament the actress’ filing, reportedly saying the actress had already been paid $20 million in compensation for Black Widow.

“The lawsuit is especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Disney’s statement read.

Disney’s upcoming Jungle Cruise is slated for concurrent theatrical and Premier Access release.

Disney isn’t the only studio to fall in the crosshairs of actors, producers and directors. When WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar unilaterally decided to release Warner’s entire 2021 theatrical slate concurrently on HBO Max, many players within the studio system said they were blindsided by the move, in addition to being impacted financially. To meet contractual obligations for films such as Wonder Woman 1984, Warner reportedly paid $200 million in talent bonuses based on projected box office had the movie releases not been impacted by the pandemic.

Kilar says Warner will return to the theatrical window in 2022, while also releasing 10 movies concurrently on HBO Max.

Disney/Marvel’s ‘Black Widow’ Arrives Early on Digital Aug. 10, and 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray Disc/DVD Sept. 14

Disney-owned Marvel Studios has announced that superhero theatrical/PVOD hit Black Widow is arriving early on all major digital platforms on Aug. 10, and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray Disc and DVD on Sept. 14.

The movie, starring Scarlett Johansson, generated $322 million at the global box office, including $155 million domestically. It also generated more than $60 million in Premier Access revenue its first weekend as an add-on to Disney+. The retail release will be available in Ultra HD and immersive Dolby Atmos audio, along with never-before-seen bonus footage, including nine deleted scenes, bloopers and featurettes.

In the action-packed spy thriller, Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises. Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, Natasha must deal with her history as a spy and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger.

Along with Johansson, Florence Pugh stars as Yelena, David Harbour portrays Alexei/The Red Guardian and Rachel Weisz is Melina. Black Widow, the first film in Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is directed by Cate Shortland and produced by Kevin Feige.

Extras include:

  • Bloopers — Take a look at some of the fun mishaps on set with the cast and crew of “Black Widow.”
  • Deleted Scenes
    • Grocery Shopping — Natasha heads into a grocery store to prepare for her journey through Norway. After a long drive, she arrives at her destination: a mysterious trailer in the middle of nowhere.
    • Bike Chase — Tailed by assailants, Natasha and Yelena speed through the city in order to escape their nemeses.
    • Gulag Fight — Alexei squares up against several enemies and is quickly overpowered. When all hope seems lost, Natasha leaps in to lend a hand in the fight.
    • Smile — The Taskmaster protocol is activated in a tense moment, and an iconic helmet is unveiled.
    • Come After Me — Secretary Ross and Mason discover an important message Natasha left behind.
    • Walk and Talk — Alexei and Melina have a playful exchange. The Taskmaster arrives and faces off with Alexei.
    • Widows in Training — Yelena and Alexei awaken in captivity. Melina hands the Taskmaster vials while the Widows train.
    • Kiss — Alexei and Melina reunite after the action. Natasha grieves over an untimely demise in the brutal aftermath.
    • Ohio — Natasha witnesses the carefree nature of the Ohio suburbs through the neighborhood children.
  • Filmmaker Introduction Featurette — Director Cate Shortland introduces the film and her vision for it.
  • Sisters Gonna Work It Out Featurette — Watch Scarlett and Florence as they train, fight, and bond to become the sister duo in Black Widow. Listen as the cast and crew discuss the characters, rigorous training, and building the dynamic between the two fearsome siblings.
  • Go Big If You’re Going Home Featurette — Step back to appreciate the size and scale of “Black Widow”’s solo film. Shot around the world, the film balances family and drama with mind-blowing action. The cast and crew reveal the intricacies of stunts that made the film so action-packed.

Marvel Cinematic Universe Eyes Return to Box Office Supremacy With ‘Black Widow’ Debut

NEWS ANALYSIS — Disney/Marvel Studios’ oft-delayed superheroine movie Black Widow, staring Scarlett Johansson, July 9 makes its U.S. box office debut — the first time a Marvel title has bowed theatrically in more than two years.

Indeed Disney ended 2019 with a record $11.1 billion global box office, including 33% of the combined domestic theatrical revenue largely due to Marvel movies.

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Black Widow is reportedly projected to generate around $80 million in revenue, starting with the July 8 sneak peak of showings ($13.2 million) across 4,160 screens. It generated close to $22.4 million in international ticket sales entering July 8. Black Widow is also available for $29.99 purchase to Disney+ U.S. subscribers.

Data from Diesel Labs contends Widow has a lot of consumer momentum thanks to the release of three original Marvel series on Disney+, including “WandaVision,” “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” and most recently “Loki.”

Diesel contends nearly 70% of prospective Black Widow moviegoers also watched a Marvel series on Disney+, followed by more than 52% of Netflix streamers.

Almost 13% of Widow fans also streamed an episode of “Loki,” starring Tom Hiddleston, while 15% of Wonder Woman 1984 moviegoers will see the Marvel release.

Regardless, with Universal Pictures’ F9: The Fast Saga still speeding strong, coupled with Paramount Pictures’ enduring post-apocalyptic sequel A Quiet Place Part II, the weekend could be the strongest in the pandemic era.

‘Loki’ Top Show in Nearly Every Territory, According to New Global Streaming Original Chart

Disney+’s “Loki” was the top original streaming show in nearly every territory tracked June 7-20 in a global demand chart created under a new data agreement.

The new bi-monthly report, the Global Intelligence Tracker, is a collaboration between Whip Media and the Entertainment Globalization Association (EGA). The chart ranks the most viewed streaming original television series among U.S. viewers and highlights their corresponding performance in other key global streaming markets, showcasing how viewing varies by territory.

The EGA was founded in 2020 by Chris Fetner, formerly Netflix’s global director of postproduction partnerships and integrations.

The report is compiled utilizing Whip Media’s proprietary global panel of consumers who report what programs they follow and watch and, further, how they feel about those shows. The panel is made up of 17 million viewers in more than 170 countries and provides data on more than 4.5 million movie and TV episodes on 1,100 global platforms.

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“We know there is a global audience for content but as streaming platforms expand internationally, a barrier to entry still exists for many of their TV shows and localization has become more important than ever,” Chris Fetner, EGA managing director, said in a statement. “The Global Intelligence Tracker is the first report of its kind to identify where these barriers exist and provide actionable data to improve viewership. We’re excited to partner with Whip Media to provide this unique data to our members to help them share great stories around the world.”

“We’re thrilled to be working with Chris and the impressive membership of the EGA,” Carol Hanley, president of Whip Media, said in a statement. “By leveraging Whip Media’s extensive insights on how consumers watch and engage with programming on a country level, together we’re providing EGA members a new tool that will allow them to make smarter localization and licensing decisions for their content. The data will not only help them evaluate the demand for their content on a global basis but also see the demand for competitive content.”

At launch, the Global Intelligence Tracker will provide a list of the top 10 most viewed original TV series on leading U.S. streaming platforms and benchmark their viewership against countries in Eastern and Western Europe and Latin America, with additional markets coming soon. The Global Intelligence Tracker is available on the EGA and Whip Media websites and will be distributed through the EGA member newsletter.

Disney+ Unveils New ‘Loki’ Featurette to Promote Streaming Series

Disney+ on June 18 debuted “Humble Loki,” a new featurette for Marvel Studios’ “Loki.” The short follows Owen Wilson, Wunmi Mosaku and Sophia Di Martino as they read “special” cue cards introducing the “Loki” series, which stars Tom Hiddleston as the title character.

“Loki,” Marvel Studios’ newest original series, launched on Disney+ June 9, with new episodes streaming every Wednesday through July 14.

Marvel Studios’ “Loki” features the God of Mischief as he steps out of his brother’s shadow in a new series that takes place after the events of Avengers: Endgame. Tom Hiddleston returns as the title character, joined by Owen Wilson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Sophia Di Martino, Wunmi Mosaku and Richard E. Grant. Kate Herron directs “Loki,” and Michael Waldron is head writer.

Disney+ Bows Marvel Studios’ ‘Loki’ Series Trailer

Disney April 5 unveiled the trailer to the new Marvel Universe live-action series “Loki,” which will begin streaming exclusively June 11 on Disney+

(Update: The service May 5 announced the premiere was moving up to June 9).

In the series, the mercurial villain Loki (Tom Hiddleston) resumes his role as the God of Mischief in a period that takes place after the events of Avengers: Endgame.

After absconding with the Tesseract, Loki is a fish-out-of-water when he lands in a world of trouble with the bureaucratic TVA (Time Variance Authority). Joining Hiddleston’s return as the title character are Owen Wilson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Sophia Di Martino, Wunmi Mosaku and Richard E. Grant. Kate Herron directs and Michael Waldron is head writer.

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