Fox, Warners 'close' to 'Watchmen' settlement

Companies met Monday to discuss possible deal

Warner Bros. and Fox are "close" to reaching a settlement regarding the "Watchmen" lawsuit, according to those familiar with the dealmaking.

A federal judge has ruled that Fox has distribution rights to the film, which is scheduled to be released by Warners on March 6. Talks between the two sides got serious during the weekend, and the parties met behind closed doors Monday in Los Angeles federal court to discuss details.

Neither Fox nor Warners would comment on the discussions, which continued for about 30 minutes in the chambers of Judge Gary Feess. Warners has not pressed its earlier request to move up the Jan. 20 injunction hearing, suggesting a settlement is near.

Also, the weekend saw a small but meaningful rollout of a "Watchmen" TV campaign, with spots airing on multiple networks, including on Fox's season premiere of "24."