Does anyone really love Phillip Morris? The embattled gay-themed film, which has seen its US release date switched at least three times, is now facing an injunction that would prevent such a release.
The Hollywood Reporter Esquire blog reports that a legal battle between producer EuropaCorp. and US distributor Consolidated is at the root of the injunction.
Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor star in the Glenn Ficarra/John Requa film that was produced by Luc Besson's EuropaCorp. US rights were sold to Consolidated Pictures Group but Europa says it never got the full $3 million advance that Consolidated agreed to pay last year.
In April, EuropaCorp rescinded its distribution agreement and filed suit against Consolidated alleging breach of contract and copyright infringement. The studio demanded the return of the movie and marketing materials.
At the time, CPG's Timothy Patrick Cavanaugh denied the company had lost the picture, telling Deadline: "We're the distributors right now, we have a contract and we're asking Europa to deliver certain things.
We've hired legal counsel, and if we need to go to arbitration, we will. We plan to distribute this film." Now Judge Dale Fischer says EuropaCorp. is likely to succeed on the merits of its claims and portrays the defendant's arguments as weak, THRE explains. The dispute will now head to IFTA arbitration.
"This was only a preliminary ruling pending a final determination by the arbitrator," Consolidated's lead attorney Robert Chapman told THRE. "We believe the arbitrator will find in favor of my clients."
Europa lawyer Dale Kinsella told THRE: "No amount of spin from Consolidated can mask the fact that Europa persuaded a federal district judge that Consolidated breached the contract by never having paid a dime for this picture, and that they had therefore no right to claim to be a distributor or claim to distribute the film, period. Nothing in the judge's order in any way effects Europa's right to distribute the film from this point forward."