The Matrix Resurrections‘ production company Village Roadshow is suing Warner Bros. over the hybrid release of the film.
Lana Wachowski’s long-awaited sequel was released in both cinemas and on streaming service HBO Max, as with all of Warner Bros’ other 2021 titles.
However, Village Roadshow have now claimed the decision “destroyed any box office chances”, according to The Guardian.
“WB’s strategy not only ensured that The Matrix Resurrections would be a bust at the box office, but it also inflicted serious harm to the entire Matrix franchise,” the Village Roadshow lawsuit claims.
“There can be no doubt that the abysmal theatrical box office sales figures from The Matrix Resurrections dilute the value of this tent pole franchise as a film’s lack of profitability generally prevents studios from investing in additional sequels and derivative films in the near term.”
The film made $37million at the US box office and $153million worldwide, though the budget was around $190million. The Matrix Reloaded, the second film in the franchise, remains the highest-earning film of the series, having made over $740million in 2003.
In response to Village Roadshow’s suit, Warner Bros said: “This is 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 favour.”
In a three-star review of The Matrix Resurrections, NME wrote: “Wachowski weaves in some timely ideas about human nature and complacency, and the fundamental importance of love. This doesn’t lead the film to an entirely satisfying climax, but it definitely gets you thinking. Call it the red pill of pandemic-era blockbusters.”