Matrix Resurrections: Warner Bros. denounced by production for launch on HBO Max

Matrix Resurrections: Warner Bros. denounced by production for launch on HBO Max

Matrix Resurrections

Matrix Resurrections is now at the center of a legal dispute that sees the company Village Roadshow Entertainment Group, co-producer of the film with Keanu Reeves, against Warner Bros., sued for launching the film on HBO Max at the same time as the theatrical release. .

This is a rather similar situation to the one that led Scarlett Johansson to indict Disney in court for launching Black Widow on Disney + through Premier Access, and similarly again it is not clear how the situation could unfold, given the many question marks on the story.

In fact, Warner Bros. agreements had been clear for some time: with the Covid pandemic still raging, the company had decided to launch several of its films in contemporary in cinema and on HBO Max, such as Dune, The Suicide Squad and precisely Matrix Resurrections. This decision was thought to have been made in agreement with the production companies, as it was practically in the public domain, but apparently there must be some legal quibble that allows Village Roadshow to challenge the decision in court, or at least try.

"Warner Bros. strategy not only caused The Matrix Resurrections to fail at the box office, it also dealt a severe blow to the entire Matrix franchise," the company's legal department reported production, which is handling the case. "There is no doubt that the poor box office results for Matrix Resurrections diluted the value of this major franchise because the poor profits limit the studios from getting future investments for other films."

Matrix Resurrections it underwent several postponements and was finally released in early 2022 simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max, grossing more than $ 100 million at the box office at launch but then remaining below expectations. You can learn more about it in our review.

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Producer of ‘The Matrix Resurrections’ sues Warner Bros. over how the film was released.

The film production and financing company Village Roadshow filed a lawsuit on Monday against Warner Bros. Entertainment, a longtime partner, saying the studio engaged in “deliberate and consistent coordinated efforts” to reduce the value of Village Roadshow’s intellectual property by releasing “The Matrix Resurrections” simultaneously in theaters and on the streaming service HBO Max.

The complaint, which was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleges that Warner Bros. used the pandemic as an excuse for the simultaneous release of the film in December. The suit claims Warner Bros. rushed the release of the movie, instead of letting it debut in 2022, to help boost HBO Max subscriptions, a revenue stream Village Roadshow doesn’t share in. WarnerMedia, the conglomerate that owns Warner Bros. and HBO Max, released all of its movies in 2021 simultaneously in theaters and on its streaming platform.

“The Matrix Resurrections” earned only $37 million at the domestic box office, the lowest result of any of the films in the “Matrix” series. Last month, WarnerMedia’s parent company, AT&T, said that HBO and HBO Max had ended 2021 with 73.8 million combined subscribers, beating projections.

The complaint also claims that Warner Bros. had attempted to deprive Village Roadshow of its contractual rights in other ways, specifically by cutting it out of productions that were based on shared intellectual property.

Over the past 25 years, Village Roadshow has paid Warner Bros. more than $4.5 billion to produce and distribute 91 films, and the two co-own intellectual property rights to movies such as “The Joker,” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Edge of Tomorrow.”

The suit claims Warner Bros. is attempting to cut Village Roadshow out of “Wonka,” which will star Timothée Chalamet as a young Willy Wonka — the main character of the 2005 film “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” According to the complaint, Warner Bros. is taking the position that the film is not a prequel and therefore Village Roadshow has no rights to it.

“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,” Warner Bros. said in a statement responding to the lawsuit, which was earlier reported by The Wall Street Journal. “We have no doubt that this case will be resolved in our favor.”

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