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Watchmen Lawsuit Finally Over!

It's official: The lawsuit between Warner Bros. and Fox over the movie rights to Watchmen has been settled! That's right, all of us fans will be seeing Watchmen hit theaters on March 6, 2009 as planned!

Fans have been praying this would be coming today after a Notice of Settlement form was filed yesterday.

Today, Fox and Warner Bros. resolved their issues over the rights snafu which has been blamed both on cagey Fox lawyers and Watchmen producer Larry Gordon.

Lawyers from both sides told Judge Feess that a settlement had been agreed upon in chambers during their 3:30pm court appointment.

A hearing has been set up for Friday, January 16 to present the settlement and have the case dismissed. The details of the settlement according to a source at Variety are:

Warner Bros. gets the right to open the film on March 6, 2009 as planned, and Fox's logo will not be on the film.

Fox will receive from Warners an upfront cash payment pegged between $5 million and $10 million, covering reimbursement of $1.4 million the studio invested in development fees, and also millions of dollars in legal fees incurred during the case.

Fox will also get a gross participation in Watchmen that scales between 5% and 8.5%, depending on the film’s worldwide revenues. Fox also participates as a gross player in any sequels and spinoffs.

As it turns out, Fox will not be distributing the film and will also not own any other piece of the Watchmen property moving forward. I guess that means no cut on merchandise, or the planned simultaneous DVD releases.

Both studios are said to be drafting a release to announce the settlement details which will likely be made public within the next 24 hours.

We will, of course, update you on the story as soon as more information is made available. In the meantime, feel free to celebrate — Watchmen is coming on March 6th!

1.15.08 Source: IESB.net, Variety

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