Congressman Calls Out Warner Bros. For Scrapping Movies

THE BUGS BUNNY/ROAD-RUNNER MOVIE, (aka THE BUGS BUNNY/ROAD RUNNER MOVIE), from left: Road Runner (archive sound: Paul Julian), Wile E. Coyote (voice: Mel Blanc) 1979
Warner Brothers/Everett Collection

A congressman is calling out Warner Bros. Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro wrote about the handling of Warner Bros. films such as Coyote vs. Acme on social media. Warner Bros. has recently scrapped several movies including Batgirl and Scoob! Holiday Haunt in order to receive tax write-offs. The movie studio has received a lot of backlash for its decision.

He said, “The WBD tactic of scrapping fully made films for tax breaks is predatory and anti-competitive. As the Justice Department and @FTC revise their antitrust guidelines they should review this conduct. As someone remarked, it’s like burning down a building for the insurance money.”

CHARIOTS OF FUR, Wile E. Coyote, 1994

Warner Bros./Everett Collection

Castro is continuing to investigate movie studios and their practices. He previously called out Discovery’s merger with AT&T’s WarnerMedia. He wrote back in April, “The damage to content creators whose projects are cancelled in deep development and post-production cannot be overstated. Such cancellations stain these projects, making them less appealing and marketable to other buyers — consumers will likely never be able to watch shows purchased then cancelled by WBD. WBD’s conduct amounts to a de facto ‘catch and kill’ practice, vastly limiting consumer choice.”

OPERATION:RABBIT, (from left): Wile E. Coyote, Bugs Bunny, 1952.

Everett Collection

He called out Warner Bros. for Coyote vs. Acme in particular because the project was entirely finished and reportedly had great test scores in audience screenings. The animated movie is based on a humor piece written for The New Yorker in 1990. It stars John Cena and Will Forte. Unlike Batgirl and Scoob! Holiday Haunt, Warner Bros. then reversed their decision to scrap it, likely because it was already done and is likely to be a success in theaters or streaming. They are currently shopping for studios, so we will let you know when it is announced where Coyote vs. Acme will end up!

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June 2018

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