White flag! Warring studios Fox and Warners have released a statement:
“Warner Bros. and Twentieth Century Fox have resolved their dispute regarding the rights to the upcoming motion picture Watchmen in a confidential settlement. Warner Bros acknowledges that Fox acted in good faith in bringing its claims, which were asserted prior to the start of principal photography. Fox acknowledges that Warner Bros. acted in good faith in defending against those claims. Warner Bros. and Fox, like all Watchmen fans, look forward with great anticipation to this film’s March 6 release in theatres.”
Nikki Finke has juicy details:
The deal is finally done, and Warner Bros’ Watchmen won’t be held hostage. I’m hearing that in the settlement, Fox will not be an active distributor of the pic but will receive up to 8 1/2% gross participation in the pic and a piece of everything going forward including a sequel or spinoff, and a cash payment upfront including recoupment of its development costs and attorney fees, and god-only-knows what else. Because neither Fox nor Warner Bros would comment on the terms of the deal.
Sequels and spinoffs? Would that be the prequel domestic sitcom “Julie and Manhattan” about a wacky couple that must share the same atoms? Anyway, the parties will be meeting in the judge’s office tomorrow to tell him that everyone has kissed, made up, and forked over a lot of cash.
Jeff Trexler has more, including some speculation on what would happen if Warners decides to go after producer Larry Gordon.
Fox, on the other hand, will emerge with an upfront cash payment that sources pegged between $5 million and $10 million, covering reimbursement of $1.4 million the studio invested in development fees, and also millions of dollars in legal fees incurred during the case. More importantly, Fox will get a gross participation in “Watchmen” that scales between 5% and 8.5%, depending on the film’s worldwide revenues. Fox also participates as a gross player in any sequels and spinoffs, sources said.