Movies & TV / News

Coyote vs. Acme’s Future Uncertain, Warner Bros. Reportedly Rejected Offers To Buy

February 10, 2024 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Wile E Coyote vs. Acme Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Coyote vs. Acme looked to have a second chance at life when Warner Bros. Discovery put it up for bidding, but its future is uncertain according to a new report. As reported back in November, WBD decided to reverse course on shelving the $70 million CGI/live action hybrid Looney Tunes comedy for a tax break and allowed the filmmakers to shop the movie to other studios. There had been early word that Amazon, Netflix and Apple were all interested in buying the film, but The Wrap reports that the film is “running out of time” and that WBD rejected offers from Netflix, Amazon and Paramount for the film.

The report notes that Paramount had offered a deal with a theatrical release component that would allow WBD to save face, but the studio wanted $75 million to $80 million for a buyer and would not allow any studios to make a counter offer. The situation was described as a “take it or leave it” situation and one that the potential buyers didn’t know they were getting into. Deadline is reporting similar things, describing the film’s price tag from Warner Bros. as “rigid” at $70 million-plus and noting that the bids for the film were in the $30 million to $50 million range. (Of note, WBD would have made $35 million – $40 million writing it off.)

The Wrap reports that according to a source close to the production, the four Warner Bros. executives responsible for deciding the film’s fate haven’t even watched the finished version of the film. That includes Warner Bros. Motion Picture Group CEOs and co-chairpersons Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy, Warner Bros. Pictures Animation president Bill Damaschke, and David Zaslav. Zaslav has not seen the film at all, Luca and Abdy saw a “Director’s Cut” and Abdy saw the first audience preview. The film has reportedly tested through the roof with audiences.

Deadline notes that the studio already took their $70 million writedown on the film for their Q3 earnings and that the door isn’t fully closed on it seeing the light of day, but there is the possibility it could join Batgirl and Scoob!: Holiday Haunt on the permanent shelf, with one source saying that “No one is doing anything at Warners to push this film for a sale.”

The movie stars John Cena, Will Forte and Lana Candor and was directed by David Green from a script by Sammy Burch. It followed Wile E. Coyote, who after ACME products fail him one too many times in his dogged pursuit of the Roadrunner, decides to hire a billboard lawyer to sue the ACME Corporation. The case pits Wile E. and his lawyer (Forte) against the latter’s intimidating former boss (Cena), but a growing friendship between man and cartoon stokes their determination to win.