The legal aftermath of The Matrix Resurrections’ release continues, as Warner Bros contends it never promised an exclusive theatrical run.

The aftermath of The Matrix Resurrections’ release continues, following the news last week that co-financer Village Roadshow is suing Warner Bros. It’s in response to the poor commercial performance of the movie, with the sequel swept aside at the box office by the strength of Spider-Man: No Way Home.

Village Roadshow has taken issue with Warner Bros’ decision to release The Matrix sequel on its HBO Max streaming platform in the US on the same day it was released in cinemas. Village Roadshow has argued in legal filings that Warner Bros basically shortchanged the film’s theatrical release to try and push numbers to its streaming service instead.

Now though, Warner Bros is pushing back. It’s countered the accusation by arguing that the “word ‘exclusive’ appears more than a dozen times in the parties’ agreement, but not once when it discusses Warner’s release obligations … an ‘exclusive’ theatrical release was not part of the bargain”.

Instead, the studio in its contract argues that it was required to release the film on at least 1000 screens, and felt that it met that by putting The Matrix Resurrections on closer to 5000.

There’s $112.5m ultimately at stake in this particular battle, and the ramifications of any ruling will be felt on further planned Village Roadshow-Warner Bros collaborations, such as the now-filming Wonka.

More as we hear it. This one’s still got some way to run…

THR

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