‘Summer’ battle heats up

Judge orders Col TriStar to refrain from using 'Scream' refs in ad campaign

NEW YORK — The legal maneuvering continued last week between Miramax Films and Columbia Pictures over the worldwide marketing campaign for Columbia’s horror pic “I Know What You Did Last Summer.”

On March 5, a federal district judge ordered Columbia and producer Mandalay Entertainment to refrain from using any references to Miramax’s “Scream” franchise in its overseas promotions for “Summer,” which is currently playing in many foreign territories and has yet to open in others.

The following day, the decision was stayed by an appeals court, which scheduled a March 17 hearing. Both sides presented the development as a victory.

“We expect to prevail in court,” said Columbia TriStar exec veepee of publicity promotions Ed Russell.

“Miramax is confident that the appellate court will uphold the injunction,” said Miramax spokesman Andrew Stengel.

Miramax filed suit against Columbia on Oct. 15, 1997, after Columbia launched “Summer” in the U.S. with a TV, radio and print campaign that touted the film as coming “from the creator of ‘Scream.’ ”

Kevin Williamson wrote the screenplays for both “Scream” and “Summer.” However, “Scream” director Wes Craven (who also directed “Scream 2”) did not have any involvement in “Summer.”

Although Columbia voluntarily dropped the marketing campaign in the U.S. a few days after Miramax filed suit, the “Scream” catch phrases were used to release “Summer” in Britain on Dec. 12, prompting Miramax to return to court to stop the foreign promotion.

“We intend to proceed with discovery and we will vigorously pursue Miramax’s damage claim resulting from Columbia and Mandalay’s deceptive advertising campaign,” said Miramax co-chairman Bob Weinstein, who oversees Miramax’s genre banner Dimension, which released “Scream” and “Scream 2.”

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