Warner Bros. is facing a lawsuit by Village Roadshow Films which co-produced the highly polarizing fourth flick in The Matrix franchise, The Matrix Resurrection. Conflicts of a film being released on streaming platforms on the same day as their release is nothing new.

The Village Roadshow films sued Warner Media over the release of The Matrix Resurrections on HBO Max on the same day as it released in theaters. The Los Angeles Superior Court received the filing of the lawsuit.

The lawsuit states that Warner Media forcefully pushed the release of The Matrix Resurrections from 2022 to 2021, so that it could serve the beginning of their own internal initiative, which is called ‘Project Popcorn.’ It adds that the films release over HBO Max helped deliver value to HBO max, but hurt the developers of the film and “inflicted serious harm to the entire Matrix franchise.”

The hit to The Matrix Resurrections’ box office returns was not the result of just the cannibalization from streaming but from the rampant piracy it knew would come by distributing this marquee picture on a streaming platform on the same day as its theatrical release. The cumulative result was devastating.

Warner Bros. revealed to The Verge that according to them, Village Roadshow films are attempting to comply with an arbitration that the company started with them a week ago. They added that the case will turn out in their favor, as per their expectations.

[The lawsuit is] a frivolous attempt by Village Roadshow to avoid their contractual commitment to participate in the arbitration that we commenced against them last week. We have no doubt that this case will be resolved in our favor.

The production company has worked with Warner Bros. on a whopping 91 titles, such as Joker, The Ocean’s whole franchise, Edge of Tomorrow and many more. That is not the end of their conflict, however.

The lawsuit also details the conflict between the two parties extending over other upcoming projects such as Wonka and a series which is based on Edge of Tomorrow. However, Warner Bros. “insisted that Village Roadshow relinquish its co-finance and co-ownership rights voluntarily” over Edge of Tomorrow.

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Nitish Vashishtha

Nitish Vashishtha is a freelance writer/news correspondent from India. He’s written content for companies like ScoopWhoop and Sportskeeda. He’s been writing about pop-culture, current affairs and pro-wrestling since 2017. While pursuing Master's in Mass Communication with a special interest in Advertising, his key areas of creativity lie in designing, content creation and creative storytelling as well as fictional writing. In his free time, he likes to create new riffs on his guitar, learning about whatever piques his interest, reading books ranging from philosophy to speculative sci-fi and enjoys watching anything HBO (Succession FTW).

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