WB, Fox reach a settlement on 'Watchmen'
It looks like we'll all be watching the Watchmen, since Warner Bros. and 20th century Fox have finally reached an agreement in their yearlong dogfight over rights to the flick. Variety says the two studios announced they had settled late Thursday, and that the movie will open on March 6 as planned. That ruckus you hear is all of geekdom shouting to the heavens in a chorus of joy.
Fox, which had claimed rights to the film since trailers of director Zack Snyder's take on the classic 1980s Alan Moore comic miniseries, will get a cash payment upfront in the neighborhood of $5 million and $10 million. That's to reimburse their $1.4 million in development fees and legal costs. Plus, they get between 5% and 8.5% of gross revenues, depending on how well the flick sells. Not bad, since Fox let the project languish on the shelf for years before Warner Bros. finally made the thing -- for around $150 million in filming and marketing costs.
U.S. District Court Judge Gary Feess had ruled in December that Fox had adviced WB that it retained distribution rights in a 1994 agreement with producer Larry Gordon, who took the story to Warner Bros. after failing to get it made at Fox, Universal and Paramount. Warner Bros. better hope for more than a great opening weekend (which is all but guaranteed), since it's costing them quite a lot more than they bargained for.