Lawsuit Halts ‘Avengers Phase One’ Blu-ray Boxed Set Release5 Sep, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel
The much-anticipated Sept. 25 retail release of Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment’s The Avengers has hit a snag involving a lawsuit filed over a special Blu-ray Disc boxed set.
Release of the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase One — Avengers Assembled (a 10-disc, limited-edition, six-movie collector's set) currently is on hold after German luggage manufacturer, Rimowa BhmbH, filed suit in a Los Angeles court alleging Disney doesn’t have the right to include a replica of its briefcase used under license in the feature film.
The suit does not affect preorders of separate two- and four-disc Marvel’s The Avengers DVD/Blu-ray combos available for $39.99 and $49.99, respectively.
In the movie, the briefcase, with its distinct design and markings, held the Tesseract, a powerful alien object that could provide all the energy Earth needs for the future. At retail, the replica case holds the Phase One discs and related materials.
“Marvel did not obtain any license or authorization from Rimowa to make replica copies of the case for any purpose. … The plastic ‘replica case’ [is] a close copy of Rimowa’s Topas attaché case in every respect, but quality — from the proportions and coloring, to the style of the handle and latches, and, of course, in the use of the trademarked parallel ridges around the body of the case,” reads the complaint, as first reported by CosmicBookNews.com.
The Phase One set, which retails for $219 (offered at $159.99 for preorder at sites such as Amazon), includes The Avengers and its precursors — Iron Man, Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger — as well as new artwork a cosmic cube replica and a blooper reel, among other items.
Indeed, Amazon pulled pre-orders of the Phase One release with the following notice: “Please be advised this item is currently under review and is not available to pre-order.”
Best Buy, which is offering The Avengers with its own exclusive case, has also halted preorder sales of Phase One.
A Disney representative confirmed that shipment of the Phase One box set to retailers -- which will include a briefcase and expanded bonus material -- has been postponed to next spring. In a statement, the studio apologized to consumers and retailers for the delay.