We received an update this week on Village Roadshow’s lawsuit against Warner Bros.
Earlier this year, the production company sued its longtime studio partner for having “sabotaged” the theatrical release of THE MATRIX RESURRECTIONS when it released the film simultaneously to theatres and on HBO Max. The MATRIX sequel only grossed $150M worldwide at the box office, leaving Village Roadshow with a loss on its investment, while WB was still able to benefit by pushing subscriber growth on its streaming service.
After months of legal manoeuvring by the parties, Village Roadshow announced that they would agree to a settlement with Warner Bros. determined through arbitration, rather than continuing with its lawsuit in the courts. This is the last significant conflict remaining for Warner Bros. to resolve which resulted from its decision to release its entire slate of 2021 films both to theatres and HBO Max simultaneously.
The studio chose to revise that strategy beginning in 2022, returning to a 45-day exclusive theatrical window for all major releases. Both talent and the studio’s production partners seem delighted with the change since much of their compensation comes as a percentage of the theatrical box office grosses.