Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss star in Warner Bros.’ “The Matrix Resurrections.”
Village Roadshow Leisure, a co-producer of “The Matrix Resurrections,” has filed a lawsuit in opposition to Warner Bros., alleging the studio guardian’s choice to launch the sequel on HBO Max and in theaters on the similar time was a breach of contract, based on a report from The Wall Road Journal.
The go well with, which was filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Courtroom, alleges that WarnerMedia, a unit of AT&T, pushed up the movie’s launch date to 2021 from 2022 with a view to bolster its subscriber base on HBO Max.
Representatives for Warner Bros. didn’t instantly reply to CNBC’s request for remark.
“WB’s sole objective in transferring the discharge date of ‘The Matrix Resurrections’ ahead was to create a desperately wanted wave of year-end HBO Max premium subscriptions from what it knew can be a blockbuster movie, regardless of realizing full properly that it might decimate the movie’s field workplace income and deprive Village Roadshow of any financial upside that WB and its associates would take pleasure in,” the go well with stated, based on WSJ.
Warner Bros. determined in late 2020 that its total slate of movies launched in 2021 would arrive in theaters and on HBO Max on the identical day. This apply was a lot wanted within the early days of the pandemic, when vaccines weren’t broadly accessible and audiences had been reticent to return to film theaters. Nonetheless, in direction of the tip of 2021, these twin releases considerably reduce into field workplace ticket gross sales.
“The Matrix Resurrections” dissatisfied on the field workplace, partially due to its simultaneous launch technique and partially as a result of its target market is older than the moviegoers who’ve been most lively in returning to cinemas.
Village Roadshow is just not the primary to sue a studio over a day and date launch technique. Final July, Scarlett Johansson filed a lawsuit in opposition to Disney, alleging her contract to star in “Black Widow” was breached when the media large determined to launch the movie on its streaming platform Disney+ on the similar time it launched in theaters. The two parties settled the dispute in September.