New Court Case Opens The Door For Lawsuits Over “Deceptive Trailers”
For as far back as I’m aware of, Hollywood has always had a problem with putting things in their movie trailers that don’t show up in the finished product. But that could change — MAYBE — if a new court ruling holds any legal weight.
U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson ruled on Tuesday that two fans of actress Ana de Armos, who rented the movie Yesterday on the false promise she was in the Beatles-centric film, were intentionally misled by Universal Studios due to their trailer. Armos appears in it, but she was ultimately cut out of the final film due to test audiences not liking her character. Universal has been ordered to refund Conor Woulfe and Peter Michael Rosza the $3.99 each they paid to rent Yesterday — just kidding, the actual amount they want is $5 million. “At least,” they say.
No one expected this case to result in a win. There is actually a valid, understandable reason why most trailers have scenes that aren’t in the movies they advertise. It’s because those trailers are sent out before the final cut of a film has been made. In most cases they aren’t TRYING to trick the public, it’s just what happens.
But then there are the cases when a studio deliberately WANTS to hide something. Avengers: Infinity War doctored its group shots to include the Hulk, in order to hide the plot point that Bruce Banner couldn’t transform. If this case holds up in the appeal process, no studio would dare try something like that again.
But being awarded $5 million from a $3.99 rental is so outrageous, we have serious doubts any other sane judge will let this stand. We’ll see.
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