Warner Bros. is facing a lawsuit over releasing ‘The Matrix Resurrections’ on HBO Max

Another major media company Warner Bros. is being sued by the Village Roadshow for contract breach allegations on releasing ‘The Matrix Resurrection’ on the same day-and-date on HBO Max, according to the Hollywood reporters.

The co-producer of the film filed a lawsuit on Monday alleging that Warner Bros. breached the contract by moving up the releasing date which was decided to be later in 2022 so the film could take part as a sole release of the production house’ Project Popcorn’.

The lawsuit allegedly levitates the antagonism between the ones who make millions of dollars from the theatre releases and the ones associated with media companies who tend to prioritize their streaming service.

 According to the Monday filing,

“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, especially as compared to a 2022 exclusive theatrical release.”

Responding to the statement, Warner Bros. 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.” 

The Village Roadshow accused Warner Bros. of practicing non-industry standards which ultimately slashed the performance of the highly anticipated film at the box office. The most sought-after sequel just made $37 million as compared to another blockbuster sequel ‘Spider-Man; No Way Home’ which made over $750 million released in the same period.

The same situation came under the spotlight in July’21 when Scarlet Johnson headed with Disney+ for the same day and date release of the film Black Widow on the streaming service which drove away from the viewers from the theatres. She sued the company for lowering her compensation by releasing the movie on the same date which escalated the streaming service revenue.

According to the Monday Lawsuit, the Village Roadshow alleges Warner Bros. for somewhat similar reasons to release the movie at the same time when the movie debuted in the theatres which routed away from the viewers from theatres so the streaming service could gain subscribers and ultimately subscriptions.

In addition to that, the company alleges that Warner Bros still refuse to understand the obligations of the contract which made Village Roadshow worried about the undergoing projects inducing Edge of Tomorrow and Wonka.

“WB agreed to allow its sister company to stream Village Roadshow’s tent pole film, on the same day of its theatrical release, for no additional revenue so that its sister company could increase its subscribers and subscription revenues with the additional benefit of boosting its parent company’s stock,” writes Mark Holscher, a partner at Kirkland & Ellis representing Village Roadshow.

As for Scarlett Johansson and Disney+, they managed to settle the case within a couple of months as there was a single movie that was involved. But things are different with Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow, so it will be interesting to see how long the case will take to resolve.

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