WatchmenWatch: Case settled; what have we all learned?

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WatchmenWatch: Case settled; what have we all learned?

Thu Jan 15, 2009 @ 11:47PM PST

By Matthew Belloni

Watchmen_lawsuit Fox and Warner Bros. have followed our report from earlier today with the official word that the "Watchmen" litigation has settled. Fox gets cash and a chunk of revenue from the film; Warners gets to release the film on March 6 as planned (and pursue its case against Larry Gordon and his lawyers).

Both sides will be in Judge Feess' courtroom tomorrow at 9:30 to ask that the case be dismissed. Full story here. Our column on some lessons to take away from the case here. The full joint statement below:

"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 Brothers 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."

UPDATE: The Los Angeles Times reports: "Warner Bros. agreed to pay Fox as much as 8.5% of the film's gross receipts plus about $1.5 million to cover the movie's development costs, according to a person familiar with the situation. The agreement extends to sequels and spinoffs, the person said."

2nd UPDATE: Our colleague Borys Kit trekked downtown for the hearing Friday morning and filed this report. The parties have settled; request for dismissal will be filed this afternoon; all is right in the superhero world...until next time? "It may be over between the two of you," Judge Feess told the lawyers in court, "but who knows what else will show up one day?"

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to [email protected]

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