Summit Entertainment Is Being Sued For An Egregious Amount Of Money By A Twilight Parody Company
Wait until you hear why.
I’ll let The Hollywood Reporter explain because they said it in the best possible way:
The award for legal chutzpah this year goes to a New York attorney named James H. Freeman, who has crafted a 219-page lawsuit that accuses Lionsgate Entertainment and its subsidiary Summit Entertainment of becoming “a dominant market force in the movie industry during the last five years” on the strength of its Twilight franchise.
So basically, they’re claiming the apparent success of the Twilight Saga is a monopoly. The suit says Lionsgate and Summit have been engaging in “anticompetitive conduct” with their Twilight rights to stop others from getting in on that sweet vampire action.
Oh, and they’re suing for $500 million.
The plaintiff is Behind the Lines Productions, which says it made a feature-length film entitled Twiharder that “portrayed hyper-exaggerated caricatures from The Twilight Saga movies and lampooned expressive elements embodied in Defendants’ pre-existing works through imitative reference.”
The company says several major distributors expressed interest in Twiharder, and its movie passed scrutiny by lawyers, insurers and fair use experts. Then, the defendant film companies allegedly heard about it.
It’s interesting considering we’ve seen Twilight parodies make it to theaters before. In 2010, Vampires Suck featured main characters Becca Crane and Edward Sullen in a film akin to the Scary Movie parodies. It was distributed by 20th Century Fox.
THR also writes:
Not stopping there, the lawsuit then provides an overview of legal protections in the movie industry, the history of “movie franchises,” details about the “tentpole” franchise era (with pictures of an actual tentpole construction), discussion of Twihards, critical reaction to the blockbuster films (e.g., “The Twilight Saga has also been heavily criticized by civil rights activists and academic scholars for perpetuating one-dimensional stereotypes about Native American heritage”) and so forth.
I can’t get past “pictures of an actual tentpole construction.”
So far, the studio has made no comment on the suit. Head to THR if you’re willing to read the entire thing.
(via The Hollywood Reporter)