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Fox/Warner settle over Watchmen

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Caffeinated Clint
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Clint is the creator, editor and maintainer of Moviehole.

The “Watchmen” have been freed from the clutches of the merciless Tommy R.

According to Variety, A deal has been hammered out that that gives WB some face-saving points, but which gives Fox the equivalent of a movie star’s gross participation.

Here are the key points of the deal :

– Fox will not have their logo on the film, nor will they co-distribute it.

– Fox will emerge with an upfront cash payment that sources pegged between $5 million and $10 million, covering reimbursement of $1.4 million the studio invested in development fees, and also millions of dollars in legal fees incurred during the case.

– Fox will get a gross participation in “Watchmen” that scales between 5% and 8.5%, depending on the film’s worldwide revenues

– Fox also participates as a gross player in any sequels and spinoffs

Apparently WB and Fox discussed several intriguing horse-trading scenarios after WB choked on Fox’s initial ask of 10% gross and distribution in some overseas territories, says the trade.

One scenario had WB moving “Terminator Salvation” away from its Memorial Day weekend opening on May 22, because it collides directly with Fox’s launch of “Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian.” WB considered that, but there was a major problem. “Terminator Salvation” rights owner Halcyon has that May 22 release date stipulated in its contract. With sci-fi films “Transformers 2″ and “Star Trek” due this summer, there is no better berth for “Terminator Salvation” than the four-day holiday weekend, so a moving wasn’t possible.

Another area that was explored involved Steve Carell. Fox wants to pair the actor with Tina Fey in “Date Night,” a comedy that Shawn Levy will direct. Fox needs to get that film in production by the spring, because Fey has a small window before resuming her duties of writing and starring in “30 Rock.”

WB was in a position to block that, because it held an option on Carell for a “Get Smart” sequel that it could have used to ruin Fox’s “Date Night” dreams. WB didn’t press that, because it has a strong relationship with Carell and it was clear that “The Office” star badly wanted to make the movie with Fey. WB agreed to push “Get Smart 2″ to spring 2010, a move made before the studio settled its “Watchmen” dispute.

Carell and Fey are finalizing their deals for the Fox film.

So there you have it, it’s finished….. and “Watchmen” is only just beginning.

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