Warner Bros. Is Being Sued for Releasing The Matrix Resurrections on HBO Max

Look what Scarlett Johansson started. Six months after she and Disney butted heads over Black Widow, another studio is facing a breach-of-contract lawsuit for simultaneously releasing a movie in theaters and on a streaming service. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. is being sued for putting The Matrix Resurrections on HBO Max the same day it hit cinemas. Village Roadshow, which co-produced the film, has alleged that the hybrid release was meant “to create a desperately needed wave of year-end HBO Max premium subscriptions” even though Warner Bros. knew “full well that it would decimate the film’s box office revenue and deprive Village Roadshow of any economic upside that WB and its affiliates would enjoy.”

According to the complaint filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, The Matrix Resurrections was originally supposed to be released in 2022. Instead, the lawsuit alleges that the movie became part of an initiative known as “Project Popcorn,” joining all other Warner Bros. 2021 feature films in receiving a simultaneous release on HBO Max. Village Roadshow claims the studio knew this decision would lead to reduced box-office revenue and increased piracy. According to the lawsuit, Village Roadshow has not paid for a substantial amount of production expenses for The Matrix Resurrections as a result of the alleged breach of contract. In a statement, Warner Bros. called the lawsuit a “frivolous attempt by Village Roadshow to avoid their contractual commitment to participate in the arbitration that we commenced against them last week. We have no doubt that this case will be resolved in our favor.”

The Matrix Resurrections is not the only title Village Roadshow is upset about. In the lawsuit, the company alleges that Warner Bros. has refused to recognize its right to partner on projects that are still in the works including Wonka and a TV series based on Edge of Tomorrow. ScarJo and Disney managed to settle their case after a couple months, but only one movie was involved, so we’ll have to see how long it takes to reach a resolution this time.

Warner Bros. Sued for Releasing Matrix Resurrections Online