BLACK WIDOW Lost An Unreal Amount Of Money Thanks To Piracy Caused By Disney+ Premier Access Release

Black Widow was released simultaneously in theaters and on Disney+ last year, but the impact that had on the movie's box office takings was bigger than we previously suspected. Find more details here...

COVID-19 had an impact on Hollywood that's still being felt today, and that led to a lot of unique, unexpected decisions being made in 2020 and 2021. Though we didn't know it at the time, releasing Black Widow on Disney+'s Premier Access the same day it hit theaters proved particularly controversial, leading to Scarlett Johansson ultimately suing the House of Mouse.

That's all been resolved now, but a sticking point for the actress was how much money she'd lost from box office backend payments as a result of that Digital debut. 

Driving home this fact is new information shared by Deadline. The trade explains that Johansson likely settled her lawsuit with Disney for upwards of $40 million with much of that lost money coming from pirated copies of Black Widow hitting streaming and torrent websites within minutes of its Disney+ debut.

Sources tell them that the Marvel Studios blockbuster was pirated more than 20 million times, leading to an estimated loss of $600 million in Disney+ PVOD ($29.99) revenue alone. That's an insane amount, and explains why the studio has since moved away from Premier Access. 

It's hard to blame Disney for considering moving away from that theatrical model in such uncertain times, but it simply didn't work (at least not for movies with a blockbuster budget). Warner Bros. suffered more than most, though, as releasing huge movies like The Suicide Squad and Dune on HBO max for free on the same day they premiered on the big screen really hurt them financially.

How did you watch Black Widow when it was released? 

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