March 17, 2011 5:31pm PT by Matthew Belloni
Sony Settles Dispute With 'Skyline' Directors Over 'Battle: LA' Special Effects
Sony Pictures, the studio behind the hit alien invasion movie Battle: Los Angeles, has settled its dispute with directors and special effects gurus Greg and Colin Strauss over allegedly ripping off ideas and equipment for their similar alien invasion pic Skyline.
Back in August, Sony sent the Strausses’ Hydraulx Entertainment a letter demanding that it “stop breaching your visual effects agreement,” alleging the company was under contract to provide images for the big-budget picture Battle: LA while simultaneously using the same equipment and ideas for the Universal-distributed Skyline, a lower-budgeted movie that the brothers directed.
At the time, Sony reportedly wanted Skyline’s November release date moved until after Battle bowed in March but Universal wasn’t budging. After initiating an arbitration over the claims, Sony now says it has discovered that its special effects were not used in Skyline. Incidentally, Battle: LA opened to $36 million last weekend and Skyline, made for about $10 million, did $65 million worldwide. Sony this afternoon released the following statement:
“Sony Pictures Entertainment announced today that it has dismissed its arbitration against visual effects company Hydraulx Entertainment and its principals, brothers Greg and Colin Strause. The suit arose from Hydraulx creating visual effects for SPE's “Battle: Los Angeles,” while at the same time providing special effects on the Strause brothers’ own alien invasion of Los Angeles themed picture, “Skyline,” which was released in November 2010. SPE had received information that visual effects from “Battle: Los Angeles” had been used on “Skyline,” but after the discovery phase of the arbitration, SPE was satisfied its special effects were not used in “Skyline.”
In a statement, SPE’s President of Production and Studio Operations, Gary Martin, said Hydraulx created outstanding special effects for “Battle: Los Angeles.”