Posted on Thursday, June 3rd, 2010 by Russ Fischer
The Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor gay love story slash prison break film I Love You, Phillip Morris just can’t catch a break in the US. Or, it hasn’t been able to catch a break in the past year since being picked up well after Sundance by Consolidated Pictures Group. Now a judge in California has issued a preliminary injunction to prevent Consolidated from releasing the film. In reality, this may be the first break the film has had, because Consolidated doesn’t seem able to release the film as planned.
As Reuters outlines, this is rooted in the trouble that was plaguing the film the last time I reported on it. In short, Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp, which produced the film, claims that Consolidated never paid three million dollars for the film as obligated in the distribution contract. In February EuropaCorp allowed Consolidated to set up a schedule of three payments, but EuropaCorp claims no money was received.
Around that time EuropaCorp filed a breach of contract suit against Consolidated, so this is the next step in that process.
To counter the main argument, Consolidated says that EuropaCorp didn’t deliver the film on time (after making post-Sundance adjustments) and enterted into distribution agreements with airlines like Virgin Atlantic.
So what happens now? The judge says that Consolidated’s argument is weak, and that EuropaCorp is likely to succeed in a bid to reclaim the film. There’s now an arbitration process that should happen within a couple of months, after which EuropaCorp could well end up owning the film and be able to either distribute it themselves or find another North American partner.
I Love You Phillip Morris is said to be quite a good film, and has seen release in many countries other than the US. (It’ll hit DVD in the UK in July, so if you can play R2 discs you might just want to import it.)