Warner Bros sued over Matrix Resurrections release
Warner Bros is being accused of trying to reduce the value of the film
The co-producers of The Matrix Resurrections have filed a lawsuit against Warner Bros over how the film was released.
According to a complaint filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Village Roadshow Pictures argue that Warner Bros engaged in "deliberate and consistent coordinated efforts" to reduce The Matrix Resurrections' value as intellectual property" by releasing the film on HBO Max at the same time as it was released in cinemas.
Village Roadshow Pictures, which has been a co-producer on a number of major Hollywood films such as Joker and the Ocean's franchise, also claims that Warner Bros seized on the pandemic as an excuse to release the film on HBO Max and boost subscriptions for the platform.
The Matrix Resurrections earned $37m at the US box office, the lowest of any of the films in the franchise.
The lawsuit alleges: “WB’s strategy not only ensured that ‘The Matrix Resurrections’ would be a bust at the box office, but it also inflicted serious harm to the entire ‘Matrix’ franchise.
"There can be no doubt that the abysmal theatrical box office sales figures from ‘The Matrix Resurrections’ dilute the value of this tent pole franchise as a film’s lack of profitability generally prevents studios from investing in additional sequels and derivative films in the near term.”
Responding to the legal action, Warner Bros said in a statement via The Wall Street Journal: "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."
Village Roadshow is looking for the court to judge whether Warner Bros breached its agreement.
Exclusive theatre releases for films have become more and more of a rarity since the pandemic began, with audiences unable to go to cinemas for a long time.
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