Movie studios are not allowed to use misleading marketing in movie trailers, a federal judge in the United States ruled. The reason was a lawsuit Ana de Armas fans filed against Universal Studios. The actress appeared in the film’s trailers Yesterday (2019), but his scenes were ultimately cut from the film. The move could leave the studios vulnerable to similar lawsuits.
US federal judge Stephen Wilson has ruled movie studios can be sued for misleading marketing based on their movie trailers.
Ana de Armas fans Conor Woulfe and Peter Michael Rosza filed a lawsuit in January alleging they rented the film after seeing De Armas in the trailer, only to find out she had been cut from the final film. Universal attempted to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that movie trailers are entitled to broad First Amendment protections. Lawyers for the studio argued that a trailer is an “artistic and expressive work” that tells a three-minute story on the theme of the film, and should therefore be considered a “non-commercial” expression.
But Wilson rejected that argument and ruled that a trailer is commercial expression that falls under California misleading advertising law and unfair competition law.
“Universal is right that trailers involve some creativity and editorial discretion, but that creativity doesn’t outweigh the commercial nature of a trailer. At its core, a trailer is a advertisement designed to sell a film by providing consumers with a preview of the film.”
In their briefing on the matter, Universal’s attorneys argued that movie trailers have long included clips that don’t appear in the final film. They arrived at the Universal movie jurassic park (1993), whose trailer was composed entirely of footage that does not appear in the film.
Universal also argued that classifying the trailers as a “commercial statement” would open the door to a series of lawsuits from disgruntled moviegoers, who could subjectively claim that a film failed to live up to expectations raised by the teaser.
“According to plaintiffs’ reasoning, a trailer would be stripped of full First Amendment protection and subject to heavy litigation each time a viewer claims to be disappointed about whether and how many people or scenes they saw. in the trailer were in the final film; whether the film fell into the kind of genre they claimed to expect; or any of the unlimited number of disappointments a viewer could claim.
Wilson tried to allay that concern by saying that the misleading advertising law only applies where a “significant portion” of “reasonable consumers” could be misled.
“The Court’s decision is limited to representations indicating whether an actress or a scene is in the film, and nothing else.”
Ana de Armas trial: fans are suing Universal
Conor Woulfe, 38, of Maryland, and Peter Michael Rosza, 44, of San Diego, say they each paid $3.99 to see the film. Yesterday for rent on Amazon Prime. Much to their disappointment, however, Ana de Armas was not seen in any scenes in the film. That’s why they’re hoping to get at least $5 million in compensation with their lawsuit on behalf of all the consumers who were victimized. The following statement is from the trial.
“Because consumers were promised a movie starring Ana De Armas by the trailer of Yesterdaybut did not receive a movie at all with an appearance by Ana de Armas, these consumers received no value for their rental or purchase.
In the fantasy romantic comedy Yesterday rooms Himesh Patel singer-songwriter Jack Malik, who wakes up one day in an alternate reality where the Beatles don’t exist. When the world believes he wrote the Beatles hits, he becomes the most successful singer-songwriter in the world. In a deleted scene, Malik is a guest on the talk show of James Cordon, and here it is introduced to the character of Roxane, played by Ana de Armas. Malik serenades him from George Harrison’s song Something. Watch the deleted scene here.
The character of Ana de Armas would appear in Yesterday entering into a romantic relationship with Himesh Patel’s character. Writer Richard Curtis said earlier However, in early screenings, audiences weren’t happy with Patel’s character straying from his relationship with his true love, played by Lily James.
“It was a very traumatic cut, because she was brilliant in that area. I mean really radiant. You know, it’s one of those things where it’s some of our favorite scenes from the movie, but we had to cut it for the good of the whole.
In the lawsuit, Ana de Armas is described as a “talented, successful and famous actress”. His roles are also included Blade Runner 2049, Knives out and no time to die Appointed. Universal Pictures has yet to comment on the matter.
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