A few weeks ago, we learned that Scarlett Johansson was suing Disney, considering herself aggrieved by the shortfall linked to the simultaneous release of Black widow At the movie theater and on Disney +. Indeed, the clauses in the actress’s contract did not provide for a percentage of the sums generated on the platform to be paid back to her. The complaint was ultimately settled out of court, and Scarlett Johansson continues to work with Disney.
But, finally, was this double release in North America a good idea, beyond the conflict between the company and the actress? Not so sure. Indeed, Deadline reveals that Disney reportedly estimated losses from pirating the film at $ 600 million. In theaters, the feature film got off to a good start, generating $ 80 million the first weekend, before slowing down very sharply to reach $ 126 million in three weeks. On the Disney + platform, things are a bit different. First, users wishing to see the movie had to subscribe to a Premium offer, billed at $ 30.
Then it seems that this availability, in several languages and in good quality on various media resulted in a massive piracy of the film, present on many illegal sites with good image quality. One month after the release, Black widow would have been hacked more than 20 million times, hence this estimate of $ 600 million.
This constitutes a huge shortfall for Disney, which may be more cautious in the future on this type of outing. In recent months, and before the wave of the Omicron variant started, most studios have decided to revert to a more classic distribution, but with a screening period reduced to 45 days. At the moment, no Disney / Marvel film is planned to be released at the same time in theaters and on Disney +. And it’s not the huge success in the gym Spider-Man No Way Home which may change things.