Black Widow really is the example not to follow in terms of exploitation. Not only did Scarlett Johansson sue Disney, but the loss of earnings resulting from the piracy was abysmal.
While Black Widow was set to hit theaters on May 1, 2020, the pandemic has forced Disney to continually delay the event. It must be said that at the time, confinements were legion all over the world, while dark rooms were closed to limit cases of contamination.
Piracy facilitated by the release on Disney +
Disney then made the decision to release the film on July 9, 2021, both in theaters and on its streaming platform, in Premium mode: Disney+ subscribers had to pay $30 to be able to enjoy it at home. The decision made sense, with many cinemas still having closed doors. But from a business perspective, the initiative was disastrous.
The global box office of the blockbuster, a farewell letter to the spy embodied by Scarlett Johansson since her first appearance in Iron Man 2, painfully reached $379 million. The lowest result of 2021 for a Marvel film: Shang-Chi got $432 million, The Eternals 404 million, and above all Spider-Man : No Way Homereleased in mid-December, broke the house with 1.8 billion.
The fact that Black Widow went live on Disney+ the same day its theatrical release allowed pirated copies to swarm. According to a study by Cinépolis, 40% of the film’s viewers saw it thanks to piracy… It’s almost as many as in the cinema (41%), while the share going to the paid version on Disney+ stood at 18. %.
Disney would have lost 600 million dollars in this story, according to sources in the group. Which also prompted Scarlett Johansson to file a complaint against the studio precisely about the release of the film on Disney+. The lawsuit was avoided after an agreement between the two parties. Black Widow was one of the most pirated films of the past year.