WB earnings report spells doom for Coyote Vs Acme (and maybe Salem’s Lot too)

Connie Queline

WB earnings report spells doom for Coyote Vs Acme (and maybe Salem’s Lot too)

A new earnings report from WB Discovery cites a $115 million write-down in content, referring to abandoned films.

WB recently held its annual earnings report, and according to THR, the news does not seem to be good for the long-beleaguered Coyote Vs Acme. According to their article, “As part of an earnings filing, Warner Bros. Discovery said it wrote off $115 million in content due to abandoning films in the third quarter of 2023 as part of a “strategic realignment plan associated with the Warner Bros. Pictures Animation group.” Given the film’s $80 million price tag, it seems this won’t the the only film being deleted by the studio, with many of us expecting a sad (but imminent) update on the Stephen King adaptation of Salem’s Lot. Nothing is confirmed yet, but the news doesn’t seem to be good for either of these projects. Both would follow the infamously scrapped Batgirl feature, which has still never seen the light of day (and likely never will through official channels).

According to TheWrap, Warner Bros. rejected offers from Amazon, Netflix, and Paramount, with Paramount proposing a theatrical release for the film, which Warner Bros. denied. The report says WB wanted $70-$80M for Coyote vs. Acme and refused to entertain counter offers. Adding salt to the wound, TheWrap says WB executives, including president David Zaslav, failed to watch the film’s final cut, coloring the move to scrap the project as misguided and ill-informed about the project’s quality. The report also says that two executives, CEOs, and Warner Bros. Motion Picture Group co-chairpersons Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy, reportedly screened a “director’s cut” of the film. Meanwhile, Warner Bros. Pictures Animation president Bill Damaschke watched an audience preview of the live-action animated comedy starring John Cena alongside classic Looney Tunes characters.

Reacting to the report, Carsten Kurpanek, who helped edit Coyote vs. Acme, voiced their frustration on Twitter while simultaneously revealing the film’s themes, saying, Coyote vs. Acme is about a giant corporation choosing stock over empathy, doing nothing “illegal” but morally shady stuff for profit. It’s a David vs Goliath story. It’s about the cynical and casual cruelness of capitalism and corporate greed. No wonder Warner doesn’t want to #releaseCoyoteVsACME.”

“With the re-launch of Warner Bros. Pictures Animation in June, the studio has shifted its global strategy to focus on theatrical releases,” a WB Motion Picture Group spokesperson said in November. “With this new direction, we have made the difficult decision not to move forward with Coyote vs Acme. We have tremendous respect for the filmmakers, casts, and crew, and are grateful for their contributions to the film.”

As for Salem’s Lot, Stephen King weighed in on the shelved film himself the other day, posting on Twitter:

Director Dave Green took to X/Twitter in November to comment on Warner Bros.’ decision to put his movie in the vault. “For three years, I was lucky enough to make a movie about Wile E. Coyote, the most persistent, passionate, and resilient character of all time,” he wrote. “I was surround by a brilliant team, who poured their souls into this project for years. We were all determined to honor the legacies of these historic characters and actually get them right. Along the ride, we were embraced by test audiences who rewarded us with fantastic scores. I am beyond proud of the final product, and beyond devastated by WB’s decision. But in the spirit of Wile E. Coyote, resilience and persistence win the day.”

What do you think about Warner Bros. Discovery scrapping Coyote vs. Acme  and refusing to negotiate with studios for a proper release? Do you believe the details about executives not screening the film before deciding on such drastic measures? And how about Salem’s Lot? Let us know in the comments section below.

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