Warner Bros. will not be having a very good Christmas this year. A judge has ruled that:
20th Century Fox owns the distribution rights to “Watchmen,” representing a setback for Warner Bros.’ plans to release the pic in March.
“Fox owns a copyright interest consisting of, at the very least, the right to distribute the ‘Watchmen’ motion picture,” the ruling said.
This means that even though Warner Bros. have spent a huge amount of money making the film, they do not have the right to release it, which sucks for them. On the other hand 20th Century Fox have been given another movie to release in 2009, which means they will now be very happy and possibly getting drunk as we speak.
While I have sympathy for Warner Bros, they should have made sure they had the rights sorted before they spent $100+ million making the movie. However, Fox were a bit sly as they waited until Warner Bros were nearly finished filming before bringing the rights issue to attention.
It is likely that Fox and Warner Bros. will work out some sort of deal, however whatever happens Warner Bros will be hit hard financially. At this moment it is not yet known if Watchmen will still be released in March 2009.