Disney, Johansson end Black Widow dispute

Scarlett Johansson argued the dual-release strategy for Black Widow had reduced her compensation.
Scarlett Johansson argued the dual-release strategy for Black Widow had reduced her compensation.

Walt Disney Co and actor Scarlett Johansson have resolved their legal dispute stemming from the release of her Marvel superhero movie Black Widow.

Terms of the settlement between Disney and Johansson's Periwinkle Entertainment company were not disclosed.

Johansson, 36, sued Disney in July, accusing the entertainment giant of breaching her contract when the company offered the movie on its subscription streaming service Disney+ at the same time the film was playing in cinemas.

Her complaint, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, argued the dual-release strategy for Black Widow had reduced her compensation, which she said was to be based in part on box office receipts from an exclusive run in cinemas.

Disney had countered at the time that there was "no merit" to the lawsuit and said Johansson's lawsuit demonstrated a "callous disregard" for the risks to movie audiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The dispute was closely watched for possible ramifications in Hollywood as media companies seek to build their streaming services by offering premium content to lure subscribers.

Black Widow, which premiered on July 9 in cinemas and for a $US30 ($A42) charge on Disney+, has grossed more than $US378 million in worldwide theatre receipts, according to Box Office Mojo.

The feature also generated about $US60 million through streaming purchases in its first 20 days in release, Disney says.

Johansson stars as fictional Russian assassin-turned-Avenger superhero, a role she has played in nine Marvel films.

Alan Bergman, content chairman for Disney Studios, said the company was pleased to have reached a settlement with Johansson and looked forward to working with her on a "number of upcoming projects".

Johansson said she, too, was happy to have resolved her differences with the company and looked forward to further collaboration.

"I'm incredibly proud of the work we've done together over the years and have greatly enjoyed my creative relationship with the team," her statement said on Thursday.

Australian Associated Press