Hard to tell if it’s more paralegal than paranormal but something is definitely haunting The Conjuring franchise Warner Bros is trying to create. Today the studio and its New Line division were among the defendants named in another breach of contract lawsuit by producer Tony DeRosa-Grund and his Evergreen Media. This time 87-year-old Lorraine Warren herself, whose investigations into the seemingly supernatural with her late husband were the basis for last year’s thriller, was also listed as a defendant. Filed in federal court in Texas like last month’s suit, today’s complaint (read it here) seeking a jury trial also wants to stop any sequels going forward; a declaratory judgment of rights; and a series of unspecified actual, punitive and statutory damages likely to run into the millions. And what does the other side say? “We have not been served,” a WB spokesman told me today.
Related: Warner Bros Hit With ‘Conjuring’ Rights Lawsuit, Lionsgate Exited TV Series Deal
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Looks like more than the paranormal are a threat when it comes to The Conjuring. After months in arbitration with Warner Bros over who owns what rights to the sequels and spinoffs of the successful New Line-released supernatural thriller, producer Tony DeRosa-Grund and his Evergreen Media late last week filed a breach of contract complaint (read it here) against the studio and its subsidiary. And it’s not just over movies: the 30-page complaint alleges that because of this dispute with Warners and New Line, Lionsgate eventually pulled out of a proposed Conjuring TV series deal it had with Evergreen in late summer last year. “As a direct consequence of Defendants’ deliberate actions and interference, Evergreen is unable to collect the compensation owed under its agreement with Lionsgate and has suffered monetary damages that reach well into the millions of dollars,” says the complaint filed in federal court in Texas on March 28. Released on July 19 last year, Conjuring has pulled in more than $318 million globally, and a sequel set for October 2015 was announced last month. Among other claims by DeRosa-Grund and Evergreen is that the producer has not been paid the profit participation he and New Line agreed on out of their use of case-file material the plaintiffs owned of the investigations of Ed and Lorrain Warren.
Related: What’s In A Title? ‘Conjuring’ Producer & New Line In Dispute Over TV Rights
The plaintiffs evoke the names of Bob and Harvey Weinstein in their dense complaint as yet another example of Warner Bros and New Line playing a rights shell game.
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The studio today said that Bob and Harvey Weinstein made a big “blunder” over the rights to The Hobbit movies and now they’re trying to fix their own mistake through the courts by suing over … Read More »
New Line‘s Mortal Kombat movie project has lost its helmer. Kevin Tancharoen, who just about single-handedly jumpstarted interest in the martial arts video game-turned-live-action film property with his 2011 Mortal Kombat: Legacy … Read More »
UPDATE: Now it looks like Christoph Waltz will have room in his schedule for Horrible Bosses 2. New Line confirmed today that Waltz is in talks to play Chris Pine‘s father in the awful boss sequel. A deal is expected to close soon.
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New Line has slated Horrible Bosses 2 for a November 26, 2014 release. It will go up against Fox’s animated pic Home that same day. The big competition that Thanksgiving weekend will be The Hunger Games: Mockingjay … Read More »
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EXCLUSIVE: There may be some awkward moments at the world premiere for the supernatural thriller The Conjuring tonight at LA Film Fest. I’ve learned that one of the movie’s producers, Tony DeRosa-Grund, and the studio behind it, New Line, are heading to arbitration over the TV rights to the project. Make that the TV rights to the title of the project.
The Conjuring is inspired by Ed and Lorraine Warren, experts in paranormal activities, who investigated the spirits — both friendly and sinister — who allegedly inhabited the Rhode Island farmhouse of the Perron family. Texas-based DeRosa-Grund had been looking to turn the story into a movie for more tan two decades. After Ed played to him a tape from the case, he wrote a treatment and titled the project The Conjuring. Read More »
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Only about 4.5% of the 10,000 or so domestic screens that will show New Line and MGM’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey on December 14 will present it the way director Peter Jackson wants — at 48 frames per second instead of the conventional 24 frames. But Warner Bros Domestic Distribution President Dan Fellman tells me that this reflects a cautious rollout strategy, not a failure to win support from exhibition execs. Even now, “equipment is being tested” and some glitches have been corrected, he says. “So we did the right thing” by limiting the rollout to anywhere from 400 to 450 screens covering most major cities. “This is a technology that is going to change the way people see movies…You have to do it right.”
Warner Bros seemed to have bigger ambitions for the visually vivid 3D projection technology — which the studio’s calling “HFR” (for High Frame Rate) — at the exhibition industry’s CinemaCon trade confab in April. That effort hit a huge PR speed bump when several viewers said that they were unmoved by a 10-minute excerpt of the film in 48 fps. Carmike Cinemas’ Terrel Mayton said at the time that HFR “has to be a kick-the-picture-out (advancement) or it just becomes one of a long line of technology advances that’s here for a while and then move into oblivion.” Theater owners have to pay about $5,000 for a projector to handle HFR — first-generation digital ones can’t be upgraded. More recent projectors only require a software upgrade which can run $1,500. It can cost as much as $20,000 to make the change at an IMAX venue. Theaters also have to shell out more to store HFR prints than they do for conventional 24 fps digital films. Read More »
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Will Poulter has joined the cast of We’re The Millers. The actor joins Jennifer Aniston and SNL’s Jason Sudeikis in the film. Poulter, who starts shooting on the movie on July 18, plays “Kenny” a teen … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: The Break-Up scribe Jeremy Garelick has come aboard New Line’s reboot of the Police Academy franchise that launched in the 1980s and spanned seven films through the mid-’90s. The comedy, once again produced by Paul Maslansky, picks up the … Read More »