Warner Brothers’ efforts chanting and burning sage at the United States District Court in Houston have apparently paid off, now that a pair of lawsuits filed against the studio have been sent back to the infernal pit from which they came. Actually, disgruntled The Conjuring rights-holder Tony DeRosa-Grund voluntarily withdrew his most recent lawsuit, which accused Warner Brothers of “money laundering” and “racketeering” and invoked the hellish specter of the RICO Act, usually reserved for busting organized crime rings and making cop-show dialogue sound realistic.
That was one of three lawsuits DeRosa-Grund has filed against Warner Brothers and its subsidiary New Line in the past year. The other two, one alleging that New Line failed to honor a profit-sharing agreement and another alleging that New Line basically tried to screw DeRosa-Grund over by purchasing story rights for sequels to The Conjuring from someone else, were consolidated in June. That consolidated lawsuit was dismissed by a federal judge this week, who also ruled that the two parties must meet with an arbitrator in early November. At that point, Warner Brothers will most likely settle with DeRosa-Grund, lest he move on leaving threatening messages on its bathroom mirror.