Fox Scared of The Asylum?

The Asylum for the past two/three years has been pumping out to some are called
'rip-offs', 'tie-ins', 'knock-offs' or others call them 'mockbusters'.  Titles like When A Killer Calls, I Am Omega, Exorcism of Gail Bowers, Transmorphers Allan Quartermain and the Temple of Skulls, and Alien vs Hunter have graced shelves of your local video rental store.  Hollywood studios have been a little miffed at this, but thus far nothing has become of it.  Low budget (and at times big budget) tie-ins have been a staple of cinema for a long time.  Except for a few instances, the low budget knock-offs are left alone by the big studios.

This is an instance where the big studio has taken offense to a knock-off.   Reuters has word that 20th Century Fox is seeking a "cease and disist" order and hiring a legal team to go after Asylum.  Reason?  Fox doesn't care much for Asylum's December release of The Day The Earth Stopped staring C. Thomas Howell (who also directed) and Judd Nelson, which is set to hit DVD on December 16.  Arriving in theaters on December 12, Fox releases the remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still staring Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Connley and directed by Scott Derrickson (Hellraiser: Inferno).  You see where the confusion will set in.  Someone waltzing through Blockbuster happens to see DTES, mistakes this movie for the one that came into theaters four days before and rents it.  Dear oh dear...what tortured beings they are.

The move is rather surprising as Asylum has been left alone by big studios.  The move is very surprising considering that Fox didn't go against AVH: Alien Vs Hunter, which came out before Aliens vs Predator: Requiem.  There they might have made a very weak case of "people will be confused and think we dumped AVPR onto shelves."  Here, the mockbuster comes out after the big film.

Is Fox's move is a guesture of them not having faith in their big budget remake?  Are they frightened that a film made for under a million bucks (I can guess as most Asylum films are done in the $500k range) staring two '80s icons will somehow topple their mega-budget remake staring Neo and the girl from Laybrinth?  After their big budget remake has been released?  If DESS busts opening weekend, can't really blame it on Asylum.  If it makes money...well I think it'd be a shock to a lot people.

Certainly a dark day in Hollywood when a big studio goes bonkers over a knockoff.  Sure Asylum is the most daring of the low-budget studios with their titles, but when Speilberg didn't go after them for Transmorphers or Allan Quartermain...seems big Hollywood doesn't have a big issue with them. Oh well.  Fox seems very much in a sueing mood lately, first going after Warner Bros. for Watchmen and now this. 

I'm crossing my heart the only thing Asylum will have to do if this silly thing goes through is change the title of the movie.  I'm standing by the Asylum on this one, I tend to stand up for the little guy.  If nothing happens in the meantime, The Day the Earth Stood Still hits theaters on December 12 and The Day The Earth Stopped hits DVD on December 16.
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