Warner Bros sued by producers for destroying box office sales with HBO Max release of The Matrix Resurrections
According to news sources, Warner Bros is being sued by production company Village Roadshow Entertainment over the release of The Matrix Resurrections on HBO Max.
The latest Matrix film, which starred Keanu Reeves, was released simultaneously in cinemas and on the streaming service in December. Recently, co-producers Village Roadshow filed a lawsuit at the Los Angeles Superior Court claiming that contracts had been breached and box office performance hurt by putting Resurrections on HBO Max.
They claimed that the film had originally been moved from a 2022 release to 2021 in order to drive more subscribers to the streamer.
“WB’s sole purpose in moving the release date of The Matrix Resurrections forward was to create a desperately needed wave of year-end HBO Max premium subscriptions from what it knew would be a blockbuster film, despite knowing full well that it would decimate the film’s box office revenue and deprive Village Roadshow of any economic upside that WB and its affiliates would enjoy,” the company alleged (via The Wall Street Journal).
The Matrix Resurrections underperformed at the box office, they claimed, adding that Spider-Man: No Way Home had done well in cinemas along without a secondary release on streaming.
In a statement shared with The Independent, a Warner Bros spokesperson said: “This is a frivolous attempt by Village Roadshow to avoid their contractual commitment to participate in the arbitration that we commenced against them last week. We have no doubt that this case will be resolved in our favor.”
Our own legal eagle Dean Sperling weighed in saying “It really depends on the specific language of their specific agreement. That’s what the courts will ultimately have to decide.”
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