The Wolfpack is back, baby!
A St. Louis judge has given the go-ahead for Warner Bros. to proceed with its release this Friday of The Hangover Part II, dismissing a tattoo artist's request for an injunction because of Mike Tyson-inspired ink on Ed Helms' face.
Here's what the studio had to say about the ruling.
"We are very gratified by the Court's decision which will allow the highly anticipated film, The Hangover II to be released on schedule this week around the world," said Warner Bros. in a statement that sounds like it came straight from the legal department. "Plaintiff's failed attempt to enjoin HII in order to try and extract a massive settlement payment from Warner Bros. was highly inappropriate and unwarranted."
Translation: the sobriety-challenged gang's next big-screen adventure will come off without a hitch—which is a good thing considering the sequel is on track to gross over $100 million domestically over the Memorial Day weekend.
The victory comes a day after Warners executives Dan Fellman and Sue Kroll testified at a hearing, telling the court that blocking The Hangover Part II would cause irreparable harm to the company, which would be unable to recoup more than $80 million spent in marketing the movie in advance of this weekend.
But the studio's not free and clear just yet. The judge did rule that the copyright-infringement lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Eastern Missouri by inkmeister S. Victor Whitmill, can continue to move forward.
Whitmill claims the studio violated his copyright on the distinctive facial tattoo he did for Tyson by using similar-looking design on Helms, who awakes with the ink after a night of partying in Thailand. The tattoo scene has been prominently featured in trailers, on posters and in other marketing and promotional material.
The studio has denied any wrongdoing and has insisted its use of the tattoo is covered by the First Amendment.
Now that the bid for the injunction has been quashed, it's likely the two parties will probably reach a settlement in the case.