You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Fox wins ruling in ‘Watchmen’ case

Judge finds in favor of studio

A Los Angeles federal judge has ruled that 20th Century Fox owns the distribution rights to “Watchmen,” representing a setback for Warner Bros.’ plans to release the pic in March.

“Fox owns a copyright interest consisting of, at the very least, the right to distribute the ‘Watchmen’ motion picture,” the ruling said.

Judge Gary Allen Feess issued the surprise ruling Wednesday — a week after setting a Jan. 20 trial date for Fox’s suit — and indicated he would issue a more detailed ruling soon. Warner spokesman Scott Rowe declined to comment.

Warner Bros. has not backed off a release date of March 6 for “Watchmen,” directed by Zack Snyder and starring Patrick Wilson and Jackie Earle Haley.

Fox filed the suit in February, contending it retains distribution rights to the graphic novel penned by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons.

The suit asserts that producer Lawrence Gordon’s option to acquire Fox’s remaining interest in “Watchmen” was never exercised, thereby leaving Fox with its rights under a 1994 turnaround agreement. Warner Bros. has denied Fox’s assertions and contended Fox doesn’t hold the copyright.

Fox originally acquired the rights to “Watchmen” in the late 1980s and spent more than $1 million developing the project, which later went to Universal and then Paramount before landing at Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures.

More Film

  • Harvey Weinstein

    Colony Capital Has Three-Week Window to Avert Weinstein Co. Bankruptcy (EXCLUSIVE)

    A Los Angeles federal judge has ruled that 20th Century Fox owns the distribution rights to “Watchmen,” representing a setback for Warner Bros.’ plans to release the pic in March. “Fox owns a copyright interest consisting of, at the very least, the right to distribute the ‘Watchmen’ motion picture,” the ruling said. Judge Gary Allen […]

  • Boo 2! A Madea Halloween

    Box Office: 'Boo 2! A Madea Halloween' to Blow Away 'Geostorm' in Slow Weekend

    A Los Angeles federal judge has ruled that 20th Century Fox owns the distribution rights to “Watchmen,” representing a setback for Warner Bros.’ plans to release the pic in March. “Fox owns a copyright interest consisting of, at the very least, the right to distribute the ‘Watchmen’ motion picture,” the ruling said. Judge Gary Allen […]

  • Lionsgate Unveils "The World of The

    Lionsgate Unveils World's First 'Hunger Games' Theme Park

    A Los Angeles federal judge has ruled that 20th Century Fox owns the distribution rights to “Watchmen,” representing a setback for Warner Bros.’ plans to release the pic in March. “Fox owns a copyright interest consisting of, at the very least, the right to distribute the ‘Watchmen’ motion picture,” the ruling said. Judge Gary Allen […]

  • Lawyer: Weinstein Rape Accuser's "Biggest Regret

    Lawyer: Weinstein Rape Accuser's 'Biggest Regret Is Opening That Door'

    A Los Angeles federal judge has ruled that 20th Century Fox owns the distribution rights to “Watchmen,” representing a setback for Warner Bros.’ plans to release the pic in March. “Fox owns a copyright interest consisting of, at the very least, the right to distribute the ‘Watchmen’ motion picture,” the ruling said. Judge Gary Allen […]

  • Sylvia Hoeks Girl in the Spider's

    'Blade Runner' Breakout Sylvia Hoeks Joins 'Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' Sequel (EXCLUSIVE)

    A Los Angeles federal judge has ruled that 20th Century Fox owns the distribution rights to “Watchmen,” representing a setback for Warner Bros.’ plans to release the pic in March. “Fox owns a copyright interest consisting of, at the very least, the right to distribute the ‘Watchmen’ motion picture,” the ruling said. Judge Gary Allen […]

  • Heather Kerr Gloria Allred

    Former Actress Heather Kerr Accuses Harvey Weinstein of Forcing Himself on Her

    A Los Angeles federal judge has ruled that 20th Century Fox owns the distribution rights to “Watchmen,” representing a setback for Warner Bros.’ plans to release the pic in March. “Fox owns a copyright interest consisting of, at the very least, the right to distribute the ‘Watchmen’ motion picture,” the ruling said. Judge Gary Allen […]

  • nickelodeon animation loud house

    Female Animators Call for End of Culture of Sexual Harassment in Open Letter

    A Los Angeles federal judge has ruled that 20th Century Fox owns the distribution rights to “Watchmen,” representing a setback for Warner Bros.’ plans to release the pic in March. “Fox owns a copyright interest consisting of, at the very least, the right to distribute the ‘Watchmen’ motion picture,” the ruling said. Judge Gary Allen […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content