Thursday, 15 April 2010

'I Love You Phillip Morris' loses North American distributor

There seems to be no end to the drama with this film. Last week, Consolidated Pictures Group pulled I Love You Phillip Morris with Ewan McGregor from its already rescheduled April 30 release date, and then moved its release to July 30. Now the financiers of the film, EuropaCorp, have taken the North American rights from Consolidated Pictures Group for breach of contract:
The deal struck when the film was picked up at Sundance was a $3 million guarantee to EuropaCorp for the film a promise of an $8 million marketing campaign by CPG. Apparently, the $3 million guarantee was to be paid upon delivery of the film. Well, apparently EuropaCorp handed over the film 90 days ago, but didn't receive their minimum payment putting the wheels in motion for CPG to lose the film, but they aren't going down without a fight.

“We’re the distributors right now, we have a contract and we’re asking Europa to deliver certain things. We’ve hired legal counsel, and if we need to go to arbitration, we will. We plan to distribute this film,” CPG's Timothy Patrick Cavanaugh.

Further complicating matters is the fact that CPG has already struck deals with Canadian distributor Alliance Atlantis for the film to play north of the border, as well as a DVD deal with Fox to distribute the picture on home video. There's no word yet if those deals with remain intact or if they will have to be renegotiated.

Quietly coming in to score the film in the wake of this mess is another small, but more firmly established distributor, Newmarket Films. According to sources if EuropaCorp gets the film back in their hands, they hand off the North American rights to Newmarket Films who would release the film this fall.

But all this is a big "if." Should CPG fight to hang onto the film, "I Love You Phillip Morris" could end up tied up courts for the immediately forseeable future. Our guess is that they will try and get some kind of arbitration deal worked out though if they failed to meet the obligations of their contract, we what EuropaCorp would have to gain out of such a scenario. [The Playlist]

So basically, until this is sorted out, no I Love You Phillip Morris in North America.

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