The Aftermath: A Few Financial Details About The Fox/WB Watchmen Settlement

This past Thursday night we reported that Fox and Warner Brothers had reached a settlement over the Watchmen film. In the following 24 hours, details began to emerge about the specific financial terms of the settlement. These figures are a couple of days old, but here they are for those that want to know how big of a bite Fox really took out of the WB:

  • According to Variety's sources, Fox will receive an upfront payment totaling between $5 and $10 million, which will cover $1.4 million that the studio invested in development fees, plus millions of dollars in legal fees.
  • As already mentioned, Fox will not be distributing the film, but under the terms of the settlement, will get gross participation of between 5% and 8.5% depending on the film's worldwide revenues.
  • The Hollywood Reporter, our source for the original settlement story, incorrectly reported that Fox would not be entitled to any rights for Watchmen spinoffs and sequels (they have since corrected the error). Fox will, in fact, participate as a gross player in any future Watchmen-related properties, although Snyder has already denied that he will participate in a prequel/sequel.
  • Allegedly, other options for the settlement were discussed recently, according to Variety's sources. These included moving WB's Terminator Salvation release date from May 22nd, to avoid competing with Fox's Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian. The studios have denied that these scenarios were ever evaluated.
  • All in all, for Fox, it seems the lawsuit was not a bad way to spend their time and money compared to some of the other ways they've been using it. The two studios released the following joint statement on Friday:

    Warner Bros. and Twentieth Century Fox have resolved their dispute regarding the rights to the upcoming motion picture Watchmen in a confidential settlement. Warner Bros acknowledges that Fox acted in good faith in bringing its claims, which were asserted prior to the start of principal photography. Fox acknowledges that Warner Bros. acted in good faith in defending against those claims Warner Bros. and Fox, like all Watchmen fans, look forward with great anticipation to this film's March 6 release in theatres.

    After this week, it finally looks like Watchmen fans can eagerly look forward to March 6 as well.

    Source: DHD, Variety