Black Widow has done half the business you might have expected – even with Disney+ Premier Access takings factored in.
You may be aware of the ongoing story regarding Disney’s Black Widow film, that looks like it’s heading to the courtroom. The Scarlett Johansson-headlined Marvel movie was released earlier this year in cinemas and at the same time on Disney+ Premier Access. The latter meant that you could watch the film at home, but you’d need to pay £19.99 for the privilege in the UK, on top of an existing Disney+ subscription.
Thing is, Johansson had a deal that entitled her to payments when the film’s box office hit certain levels, and she’s arguing that Disney’s change of the release strategy for the movie cut her earnings. Then Disney replied in a very defensive manner that poured lashings of petrol on a situation that surely should have been dealt with behind closed doors.
Nonetheless, one offshoot of all of this is we now have some kind of idea as to just how much the Premier Access route has made for Disney – and it’s not come close to bridging the damage done to box office earnings at the moment. With a fair wind, in normal times it’d be fair to expect Black Widow to gross the best part of $1bn.
Its current global box office gross at the time of writing sits at $369m ($180m of which has come from the US). According to Disney’s court filing, Premier Access has brought in just north of $125m. Bottom line: the film’s done around half the expected business to date.
The court case rumbles on. Surely at some point Disney will change tactics and try and settle this more amicably. For the minute though, there’s precious little sign of that happening…
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