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The Walt Disney Company has “figured out ways to reasonably compensate” talent regardless of its film-publishing method, CEO Bob Chapek said during a earnings call on Thursday.
Chapek’s comments, prompted by analysts’ questions and answers, come just two weeks after the Marvel star Scarlett Johansson filed a lawsuit against the company, who claimed it violated her contract by releasing “Black Widow” on Disney +.
“Since Covid started, we have entered into hundreds of talent events with our talent and pretty much they have gone very smoothly, so we expect that to be the case in the future,” he said.
Chapek did not directly address the ongoing lawsuit with Johansson, but said the company “is trying to do the best for all of our constituents and ensure that everyone, if in the value chain … feels that they are being fulfilled their contractual obligations. from the point of view of distribution and compensation. “
Johansson’s case stems from Disney’s new hybrid release strategy, which was also used for “Mulan” and “Raya and the Last Dragon.” It was used at a time of uncertainty in the theatrical market to bring movies to cinemas and to home audiences for a fee of $ 30.
It was clear that streaming cannibalized receipts. Since its release in July, “Black Widow” has counted $ 185.4 million domestically and nearly $ 359 million globally. Disney reported that “Black Widow” raised $ 60 million from sales at Disney + during its opening weekend, but has not shared any further information on its digital performance.
Previous Marvel movies have averaged over $ 100 million in ticket sales during their opening weekends and nearly $ 1 billion during their theatrical run.
Typically, companies do not comment on ongoing lawsuits, but Disney responded to Johansson’s lawsuit with a violent public statement that suggested that the star had an “obscene ignorance” of coronavirus and revealed that it had so far paid her $ 20 million.
The development also raised questions about how other actors who had similar contracts that guaranteed ticket performance bonuses could react to having their own films released at Disney + and in cinemas.
“It’s definitely a time of anxiety in the market, as a lot has changed recently, and again, these films that we’re releasing right now were imagined in a completely different environment than unfortunately fate has provided us,” Chapek said.
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