It’s About Time

Apparently Scarlett Johansson is suing The Walt Disney Company over the two-pronged release of Black Widow on Disney+ and in theaters.

It’s about time someone took a stand on this issue because I don’t think it’s in dispute that making titles available via streaming at the same time they’re released in theaters, it’s the theaters that are getting the short, smelly end of the stick.

I don’t see how this can be disputed.

Monetarily speaking, let’s hypothetically say that a family of four (two adults and two children) are going to the theater.

That’s somewhere in the ballpark of $50-60 in tickets alone (never mind concessions because that money doesn’t go to studios).

Black Widow was available on Disney+ for $30.

If our hypothetical family had taken this option they essentially had their two children see the movie for free.

Someone is losing money on this deal, and since Johansson was a producer as well as the lead of Black Widow, she’s definitely on that list.

And I get that COVID was – and is – a problem, but if studios aren’t going to sweeten the pot for people whom their release strategy cause fiduciary harm, then they ought not to do it.

And when are we going to talk about studios using first-run movies to build their streaming platforms? This is less of an issue with Disney+ than HBOMax because while the former was reluctant to release Black Widow on their streaming platform, WarnerMedia has been significantly less so.

And speaking of WarnerMedia, they seemed to have sweetened the pot for Patty Jenkins and Gal Godot when they followed a similar strategy for the release of Wonder Woman 1984, so why can’t/didn’t The Walt Disney Company do the same with Black Widow?

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