A Canadian distributor sued the Weinstein Co. on Thursday, alleging that the company violated its output deal when it sold “Paddington 2” to Warner Bros.
Entertainment One, otherwise known as eOne, alleges that it is owed at least $7.2 million due to the breach. The Weinstein Co. sold off “Paddington 2” in November, as it was desperate for a cash infusion to avoid bankruptcy.
According to the lawsuit, eOne and the Weinstein Co. had agreed to release “Paddington 2” in Canada under the terms of a long-standing output deal. eOne began preparations in the summer of 2017 and expended substantial time and money preparing to market and distribute the film.
The suit claims that Bob Weinstein, the company’s co-chairman, apologized to Patrick Roy, an eOne division president, after the film was sold off. eOne alleges that Weinstein “acknowledged that [the Weinstein Co.] would need to compensate eOne for its loss of ‘Paddington 2’ as a result of the sale.”
eOne subsequently terminated the output deal effective Dec. 31. It also presented an invoice for $7.2 million, which it said was the balance on the advance that eOne had paid to TWC under the deal. The bill has not been paid.
eOne filed suit in L.A. Superior Court for breach of contract, seeking the $7.2 million plus damages arising from the failure to make “Paddington 2” available.
The Weinstein Co. did not immediately respond to a request for comment.