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MGM faces class action lawsuit for James Bond DVD boxset

10-Apr-2017 • Bond News

When is a James Bond film not a James Bond film? When it wasn't originally produced by EON Productions.

That was the logic behind MGM's most recent James Bond DVD and Blu-Ray box set, which did not include the 1967 spoof 'Casino Royale' or the 1983 rogue rival Bond outing 'Never Say Never Again.'

Despite being originally produced by Columbia Pictures and Warner Bros. respectively, MGM and EON now control the distribution rights to both films. 

This is the grey area that may cause MGM some problems with a class action lawsuit filed by Mary Johnson behalf of herself and others similarly situated who bought the box set upon packaging that stated: "All the Bond films gathered together for the first time" only to be disappointed by the absence of 'Casino Royale' and 'Never Say Never Again.'

Although most Bond fans would probably agree that these two films do not belong in a James Bond box set, the advertising claim of MGM and Fox Home Entertainment (who distribute the home releases for MGM) will be tested in court.

Johnson's complaint, removed to federal court on Friday, claims the Bond franchise has generated close to $3 billion in sales from home entertainment, but her lawyers have identified an alleged violation of Washington's Consumer Protection Act and a claimed breach of warranties. Johnson says she "did not receive the product she was led to believe she purchased. The representations that Defendants make on the James Bond sets are false, mislead consumers (and Plaintiff in particular), and constitute unfair and deceptive business practices in violation of applicable law."

Attorney Alexander Kleinberg at Eisenhower Carlson is handling the proposed class which demands actual damages, punitive damages and more. John Devlin is representing the defendants.

In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, MGM says, "The James Bond DVD and Blu-ray collections, which clearly list the included films, have been enjoyed by millions of satisfied consumers around the world. We intend to vigorously defend against these frivolous claims."

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