After our client, iPic Entertainment, opened a new premium boutique movie theater in Houston, it was unable to license and show a number of first-run hit movies due to boycott threats made against major movie studios by the nation’s largest theater circuit, Regal Entertainment. Yetter Coleman was hired to stop these anticompetitive restraints of trade. We filed the client’s case under the Texas Antitrust Act in state court, and we sought an immediate temporary injunction to protect iPic.
Following a two-day evidentiary injunction hearing, State District Judge Wesley Ward ruled that there is a “substantial likelihood” that iPic will prove at trial that the theaters in issue are not in “substantial competition”; that Regal’s actions are “unreasonable” restraints with “no procompetitive justification”; and that iPic’s injury is “imminent,” and it has “no adequate remedy at law.” The court signed a 9-month temporary injunction order through an October trial date, stopping Regal from continuing its exclusionary campaign against iPic.
This decision is game-changing to iPic and will be watched closely in the industry, as Regal, AMC and Cinemark are being investigated by courts and governmental agencies for anticompetitive practices.