20th Century Fox and Warner Brothers have been sparring over the latter's forthcoming release of Watchmen, based on the blockbuster D.C. Comics graphic novel of the same name. Fox alleges that WB violated their copyright by making the film because Fox purchased the story rights back in the 1980s, and is seeking to delay the film's release. News reports here and here.
Warner Brothers and Fox settled their legal fight over the "Watchmen" movie last week, clearing the way for the movie's release in March.
Fox emerged victorious late Thursday in its effort to get Warner to recognize Fox’s ownership rights on “Watchmen,” a $130 million adaptation of the popular graphic novel series of the same name. Fox stepped forward before shooting even began, saying it owned the rights. The studio filed suit in February after Warner balked.
Terms were not disclosed, and both studios declined to comment on Friday. But people with knowledge of the agreement said Fox could receive up to 8.5 percent of the film’s final theatrical gross after Warner recoups certain costs. (The percentage is lower if ticket sales are poor.) Fox will also get back the $1.5 million it spent developing the movie, and Warner will foot its rival’s multimillion-dollar legal bill.
Fox also pried a public admission from Warner that it had not been greedy. “Warner Brothers acknowledges that Fox acted in good faith in bringing its claims,” a joint statement said. That line was particularly important to Fox, which has come under fire on the Web from “Watchmen” fans who feared that the studio’s efforts would delay the film’s release.