The pitched battle that began between Sony Pictures and visual effects house Hydraulx over the alien movies Skyline and Battle: Los Angeles is over. Sony Pictures objected to the fact that Greg and Colin Strause made their low budget Skyline and benefited from the work their visual effects house Hydraulx did for the big budget Battle: Los Angeles. At the time, the principals of Hydraulx (which has provided vfx for Avatar, 300 and other big pics) denied they did anything improper. When financier Relativity Media refused to change the picture’s opening from Nov. 12 until after Battle: Los Angeles‘s March 11 bow, Sony Pictures took the matter to arbitration. I’d been hearing that case was flimsy and largely based on the film’s producer Neal Moritz being angry at the time. Insiders deny this.
Now, Sony Pictures has announced that the matter has been dismissed, and everybody is positively hugging and kissing! Part of that might have to do with the fact that for their respective budgets, each film did fine. Battle: Los Angeles wasn’t at all impacted by the earlier film, and performed well enough and left enough plot room that a sequel seems absolutely inevitable.
Here is the official 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.”
Here is the statement:
In a statement, SPE’s President of Production and Studio Operations, Gary Martin, said Hydraulx created outstanding special effects for “Battle: Los Angeles.”
Greg and Colin Strause stated, “We’re glad to put this behind us. We’ve been honored to work on several wonderful SPE projects in the past and look forward to future collaborations.” In addition, to “Battle: Los Angeles,” the Strause brothers and their companies have provided special effects for SPE on “2012” and “The Social Network.” Sony Pictures Classics recently acquired the film, “Take Shelter,” executive produced by Greg and Colin Strause and for which Hydraulx did the special effects.