Coyote Vs Acme | Warner Bros writes off another completed movie for tax reasons

coyote vs acme
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Warner Bros spent $70m on Coyote Vs Acme. But it’s now deleted the John Cena-headlined film to save some money.

Surely this nonsense has got to stop soon. For the third time in the last couple of years, Warner Bros has decided that it makes far more economic sense to destroy a completed movie than to release it.

In this case, the film is Coyote Vs Acme, a movie that’s cost some $70m to make. A hybrid of live action and animation, it was originally scheduled to arrive in cinemas on 21st July of this year before the studio took it off its schedule. In fairness, it decided to release the Barbie film on that day too, and things worked out rather well there.

But apparently, things were also working out well with Coyote Vs Acme. Deadline reports that test scores for the feature were above average, and the film – directed by Dave Green and with John Cena and Lana Condor leading its cast – was seemingly looking for another slot.

Yet Warner Bros is reportedly still trying to get back on top of its finances, and has elected against releasing the film even on its streaming platform, Max. Instead, it’s done what it did to the pretty much completed Batgirl and Scoob! Holiday Haunt, a pair of films costing over $125m to make. In the end, accounting won, and Warner Bros figured it was cheaper to delete them.

That way, it could write them off and get some money back, and wouldn’t have to pay for marketing and release. The flip side is that to do a tax write off, you legitimately have to erase the film for good.

Three times the company has done it now. Three.

It issued a statement that reads: “with the re-launch of Warner Bros. Pictures Animation in June, the studio has shifted its global strategy to focus on theatrical releases. 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.”

It’s that difficult a decision, it’s the third time it’s done it.


The synopsis for the movie that we’ll never get to see reads as follows…

After all of the products made by ACME Corporation backfire on Wile E. Coyote, in his pursuit of the Road Runner, he hires an equally-unlucky human attorney to sue the company. When Wile E.’s lawyer finds out that his former law firm’s intimidating boss is ACME’s CEO, he teams up with Wile E. to win the court case against him.

Interestingly, among the writers of the film is James Gunn, the man Warner Bros hired to head up its DC Universe of characters. We wonder how he, and co-writers Samy Burch and Jeremy Slater, are feeling now.

I know we’re supposed to report these things a little bit impartially, but if we can just say this: what an absolute shitshow. All the filmmakers concerned deserve a lot better.

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