After enough drama to legitimize it’s own movie, the fight over the Watchmen movie looks to be over. Both Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox have agreed that the most highly anticipated film of the year will be released on schedule, March 6th.
The final terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but it does look like the legal fight is over between the two big studios, which ends months of back-and-forth legal brawls, not to mention the 10 years of anticipation of the film from fans.
In case you have been hiding under a rock, the Watchmen, based on the graphic novel of the same name, is a dark superhero movie that takes place in the 80’s. The film stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Patrick Wilson, Billy Cudup, Jackie Earle Haley, Malin Akerman, and Carla Gugino.
The legal issues arose when 20th Century Fox, after sitting on the rights for the story for a decade, and passing on numerous scripts, including the script of the current film, decided that they wanted to be in the Watchmen business. And more importantly, last month a judge agreed they were in fact in the Watchmen business.
Warner Bros. had to cut a deal with 20th Century Fox, who were then threatening to hold back the films’ release. This move by 20th Century Fox has not gone over well by fans, who look at Fox as a cowardly company that didn’t have what it took to make a movie true to the original vision of the brilliant novel.
At an estimated $150 million budget the Watchmen was already a calculated risk for Warner Bros. After the phenomenal success of The Dark Knight, dark superhero movies have shown they have supreme money making potential, but it’s hard to say how much upside there is for Warner Bros. now that Fox will have their hand in the cookie jar as well. Not to mention the recent box office, and critical failure of the Spirit, which was another graphic novel turned into a film. And unlike The Dark Knight, there isn’t a whole lot of opportunity for a sequel, this is it.
I would say that’s Watchmen will be a clear cut box office and critical success. The trailer looks amazing, the talent is top notch, and the fan base is foaming at the mouth to fork over their cash. But as far as financial bottom line, that may be a different story. How 20th Century Fox is guaranteed to make money off this, and in the end that’s smart, it is difficult to respect a tactic like this from a company that is supposed to be generating creative and entertaining films. If I was a deeper thinking person, I might consider their move a sign of what’s wrong with this country. A lot of making money through tricks, and not producing a quality product.