As previously reported, Fox and Warners, both embroiled in the legal struggle over the WATCHMEN movie, had agreed to wait until January 20th to have Judge Gary Feess rule on whether Warners would be able to release the movie as planned. However, with the clock ticking, Warners is trying to get the date moved up, as they are already pouring marketing money into a picture that might not open.
Warner Bros. disclosed in court filings that “Watchmen,” which the studio hopes will be a global blockbuster, cost $130 million to produce, with marketing and promotion expenditures pushing the studio’s total investment to “more than $150 million.” On Monday, Fox and Warner agreed to skip a jury trial and let Feess convene a hearing Jan. 20 on whether Warner should be blocked from releasing the movie. But on Tuesday, with the release date less than eight weeks away, Warner asked the judge to begin the hearing eight days earlier, on Monday. The studio is already running trailers in theaters promoting “Watchmen.” “Because the release date for ‘Watchmen’ is less than two months away and Warner Bros. must imminently commit to spending tens of millions of dollars on its marketing and promotional campaign for the picture, time is of the essence,” Warner Bros. said in its request.
As always, Film Esq. has more on the legal underpinnings of the latest moves.