×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Weinstein Company Sues Open Road Over ‘Playmobil’ Rights

The Weinstein Co. has sued Open Road Films, and producers Moritz Borman and Dimitri Rassam over the U.S. distribution rights to the upcoming movie “Playmobil.”

TWC filed the suit on Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging that the producers breached their agreement to sell the rights to TWC prior to the May 12 announcement that Open Road had purchased the U.S. rights.

A spokeswoman for Open Road said the company had no comment about the suit, which alleged that the rights were sold to TWC on March 30 following a week of negotiations.

“The producer defendants materially breached the agreement by retracting their promise to sell TWC the ‘Playmobil’ movie distribution rights and refusing to negotiate a written deal memo in good faith,” the complaint said. “Instead of honoring their contractual obligations to TWC, the producer defendants purported to terminate the agreement and entered into a contract with Open Road Films for the same distribution rights that they had already sold to TWC.”

The suit is asking the court to toss out the Open Road deal. It also seeks unspecified damages.

The action alleges that the agreement was terminated two weeks later on April 13 after TWC didn’t provide a letter of credit. The producers’ representatives allegedly told TWC, “As we have not received substantive response despite our communications to you that time is of the essence, please be advised that negotiations are respectfully terminated.”

The complaint asserts that the termination “was merely a pretext for breaking off negotiations so that the producer defendants could sell the distribution rights for the ‘Playmobil’ movie to another buyer.”

Open Road planned to release “Playmobil,” based on the German toy line, on Jan. 18, 2019. The film will be directed by Disney veteran Lino DiSalvo and produced by the team behind “The Little Prince” (Aton Soumache, Dimitri Rassam, Alexis Vonarb), along with Axel Von Maydell and Moritz Borman.

It said at that point that the project was developed in cooperation with Pathé France and will be sold internationally by Lionsgate and Wild Bunch.

TWC had a similar high-profile dispute with Lionsgate in 2009 over the distribution rights to “Precious,” which won two Academy Awards and grossed $47 million domestically and $16 million internationally. The two competing suits were settled in 2010.

The news about the suit was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

More Film

  • Bob Iger arrives at the Oscars,

    Bob Iger: 'Challenging Work of Uniting Our Businesses' Lies Ahead for Disney

    Bob Iger marked the historic occasion of Disney’s purchase of 21st Century Fox with a lengthy memo to staffers that was candid about the challenges of the massive integration of people and cultures that lies ahead for the media giant. “I wish I could tell you that the hardest part is behind us, that closing [...]

  • EMMA APPLETON as FEEF SYMONDS

    'Traitors' Producer 42 Hires Literary Manager Eugenie Furniss

    Eugenie Furniss is joining London- and Los Angeles-based management and production company 42 as literary manager, it was announced Wednesday. The company’s slate include movie “Ironbark,” a Cold War thriller starring Benedict Cumberbatch, and TV series “Traitors,” a spy thriller coming to Netflix in the U.S. at the end of the month. Furniss joins 42 [...]

  • Brad Pitt Leonardo DiCaprio Once Upon

    Quentin Tarantino's 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' Trailer Drops

    The first look at “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” is finally here, and Quentin Tarantino is taking audiences back to the height of hippie Hollywood. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, the footage features a montage of Tinseltown in the late 1960s. The duo play Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth, a washed-up actor and [...]

  • One-Cut-Of-The-Dead-Review

    Japanese Sleeper Hit ‘One Cut of the Dead’ Heads for English Remake (EXCLUSIVE)

    “One Cut of the Dead,” a micro-budget horror film that last year defied the odds to become one of the biggest hits of the year in Japan, is headed for an English-language remake. Patrick Cunningham, a Japan-based American producer whose credits include “Martha Marcy May Marlene” and “Starlet,” is behind the venture. The original film, [...]

  • Come as You Are review

    SXSW Film Review: 'Come as You Are'

    The rare remake that’s actually a slight improvement on its predecessor, Richard Wong’s “Come as You Are” translates Geoffrey Enthoven’s 2011 Belgian “Hasta la Vista” to middle America. Other changes are less substantial, but this seriocomedy has a less formulaic feel than the original while remaining a crowd-pleasing buddy pic-caper with a soft-pedaled minority empowerment [...]

  • Strange Negotiations review

    SXSW Film Review: 'Strange Negotiations'

    In a era when some mainstream entertainers have transitioned to targeting faith-based audiences, David Bazan is moving in the other direction. The gifted songwriter’s ersatz band Pedro the Lion was perhaps the most successful Christian indie rock act of its time, and the first to significantly cross over to secular fans. Then he ditched that persona (and [...]

  • Bluebird review

    SXSW Film Review: ‘Bluebird’

    As affectionate as a love letter but as substantial as an infomercial, Brian Loschiavo’s “Bluebird” may be of most interest to casual and/or newly converted country music fans who have occasionally wondered about the songwriters behind the songs. There’s a better than even-money chance that anyone who’s a loyal and longtime aficionado of the musical [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content