Warner Bros. sued for taking 'Matrix' and other films to streamer

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Updated: Feb 08, 2022, 10:58 AM(IST)

A still from 'The Matrix Resurrections'. Photograph:( Twitter )

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Village Roadshow Pictures has filed a lawsuit against the studio in Los Angeles Superior Court today, alleging breach of contract.

Warner Bros. might have saved itself from 2021 litigation over its aggressive tactics with streaming service HBO Max but it’s been caught up with yet another. This time it’s a lawsuit by Village Roadshow Pictures.

Village Roadshow has filed a lawsuit against the studio in Los Angeles Superior Court today, alleging breach of contract. The complaint blasts “the deliberate and consistent coordinated efforts of WB to eviscerate the significant value of Village Roadshow’s intellectual property.”

In a statement, Warner Bros responded, “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.”

The complaint mainly features films like ‘The Matrix Resurrections’. Village Roadshow complains that WarnerMedia cut down on the film’s theatrical commercial prospects by favouring its streamer. “As the distributor and co-copyright owner, WB has a fiduciary duty to account to Village Roadshow for all earnings from the exploitation of the films’ copyrights, not just those it cannot hide,” the suit says.

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Not only has the Matrix franchise generated some $2 billion in box office, the lawsuit notes, but other Village Roadshow properties similarly took flight financially after successful theatrical runs. The suit names ‘Joker’, ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ and ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ among other films.

Another studio, Disney, too faced a backlash at the time of release of ‘Black Widow’ when Scarlett Johansson sued the studio for taking the film to its streamer at the same time as its theatrical release. This is how Disney responded. 

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