One upside to Watchmen flopping: Warner Bros. will likely be able to pay Fox a smaller portion of the film’s revenues to resolve their rights dispute.
Last January, Warner Bros. settled its legal dispute with Fox over who owned the rights to Watchmen by agreeing to pay Fox up to 8.5% of the film’s proceeds. But now that the $150 million movie’s only grossed $180 million worldwide, Warner will probably only owe Fox about 5% of the film’s proceeds.
Furthermore, it’s likely any sequels or spinoffs, which Fox also would have gotten a cut of the profits from, are dead, which could limit the size of Warner’s payout.
But will Warner Bros. have to pay News Corp’s film studio or will producer Larry Gordon have to fork over the dough?
Warner is expected to argue that Gordon failed to secure the rights to Watchmen from Fox before setting it up at Warner Bros. and will want Gordon to pay the fees it owes to Fox.
But Gordon’s likely to say that Warner knew of Fox’s claim on the property and pass the blame to his lawyers. Fortunately, Gordon’s lawyers’ firm has a $15 million insurance policy that might cover Warner Bros.’ entire Fox payout.
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