False advertising law now applies to deceptive movie trailers.
U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson ruled movie studios can be sued under these circumstances. The case involves the 2019 film "Yesterday," about a world without the Beatles.
Two fans of actress Ana de Armas (“Blonde,” “No Time To Die”) rented the movie in January because they saw her in the trailer. The catch? She isn’t in the actual film.
Universal Studios tried to have the case dismissed, but the judge rejected the claim.
Variety first reported the news.
Universal argued that movie trailers are protected under the First Amendment, since a trailer is an “artistic, expressive work” that tells a three-minute story. The studio called this “non-commercial” speech.
Wilson ruled movie trailers are commercial speech and subject to the California False Advertising Law.
The plaintiffs, Conor Woulfe of Maryland and Peter Michael Rosza of San Diego County, Calif., each paid $3.99 to rent “Yesterday” on Prime Video. They asked for least $5 million as representatives of a class of movie customers.
The case will now proceed to discovery and a motion for class certification.