The family whose story inspired dozens of horror movies is looking to get back the Amityville rights from The Weinstein Company’s bankruptcy sale.
For the small group of people out there who have never heard of The Amityville Horror, in 1975 George & Kathy Lutz and their three children moved into a house in a suburban neighborhood in New York. A year earlier, however, Ronald DeFeo Jr. had shot and killed six members of his family. He plead insanity and claimed that he did it because he heard voices. Regardless, he was found guilty on six counts of second-degree murder. A year later, The Lutz family moved out of the house after only 28 days, claiming to have been harassed by something paranormal.
Although the story has been very controversial, with many debating the truthfulness and credibility of the stories, it has nonetheless spawned a book and countless other re-tellings. The release of the most recent film, Amityville: The Awakening, was delayed for years, and was eventually offered for free on Google Play and brought in only $800 as opposed to the $86 million box office that the original film made. Amityville: The Awakening This may have been connected to the Weinstein scandal, as The Weinstein Co. currently owns the rights to make content about the Amityville haunting.
Because of this, when The Weinstein Co. filed for bankruptcy, “Amityville Enterprises said received notice that Lantern Entertainment or some other bidder would assume rights to future productions.” The Lutz family wants the rights to the Amityville story back, and are arguing that it cannot be sold as an asset of the Weinstein company.
The good news for the family is that it appears as if their agreement with Dimension Films might have expired on February 8, before the Weinstein Co. had even filed for bankruptcy. If this is the case, things are looking up for the Lutz family.