US Court prevents release of I Love You Phillip Morris

MUMBAI: A preliminary injunction preventing the US release of I Love You Phillip Morris starring Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor has been issued by a California District Court.

The film, about a married man who gets into a car crash, discovers he‘s gay and goes on a crime spree that eventually lands him in jail, has been produced by French movie studio EuropaCorp.

After the film premiered in 2009 at Sundance Film Festival, Consolidated lapped up its US rights. Initially planned to release in February, the film got delayed and was to finally release in July.

However, EuropaCorp never got the full $3 million advance that Consolidated agreed to pay last year. An agreement between Europa Corp and Consolidated was amended in February to allow Consolidated pay in three instalments, but according to EuropaCorp, it still didn‘t receive any money.

In April, EuropaCorp rescinded its distribution agreement and filed a lawsuit against Consolidated alleging breach of contract and copyright infringement. The studio demanded the return of the film and marketing materials.

In response, Consolidated stated that EuropaCorp hadn‘t delivered the film on time, had breached its agreement by entering into distribution agreements with Virgin Atlantic and other airlines and said that its failure to pay up wasn‘t a sufficient material breach.

Consolidated requested a stay so that it could hash out the dispute in an arbitration proceeding at the Independent Film and Television Alliance (IFTA). In her decision, California District Court Judge Dale Fischer said that EuropaCorp was likely to succeed on the merits of its claims observing that the defendant‘s arguments were weak.

As a result, the judge granted EuropaCorp‘s request for an injunction provided it manages to put up a $500,000 bond pending the ultimate outcome of the case. The dispute will now head to the IFTA arbitration, hopefully within the next two months.

Regardless of the outcome, the film won‘t be in theatres next month as planned.

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