'The Butler' Is Now 'Lee Daniels' The Butler' After Mixed MPAA Ruling

With less than a month before the film hits theaters, The Weinstein Company is going to be spending that time cooking up a batch of new marketing materials for The Butler, as the MPAA have made a final ruling on the silly title dispute sparked by Warner Bros. The results are that TWC will have to alter the title, but not significantly so, and pay some hefty fines as a result of the weeks-long ordeal.

The MPAA ruling allows for TWC to use 'The Butler' as part of a different title for the film, and now we know the film will officially be Lee Daniels' The Butler. A mostly insignificant change that should go a long way in making the film seem more important, while at the same time all of the mainstream attention this dispute has received will probably amount to a few more ticket sales. Studios don't usually fight over movies they think are terrible.

But what TWC is probably not too happy with are the more than $400K in fines they'll have to pay as a result of the MPAA's ruling on their appeal. They've been hit with $25K a day in fines, dating back to July 2nd, for violating the MPAA's initial ruling in favor of WB. The penalty could go up to $50K a day if they don't quickly alter their digital marketing campaigns by July 26th, and print by August 2nd. They'll also have to pay WB's legal fees, more than $150K, and $100K to the Entertainment Industry Foundation.

There's no doubt that TWC lost this ruling, but it could have been worse. And they kind of come out of this looking like the victims and WB nothing more than a bully.

Lee Daniels' The Butler opens on August 16th. [Variety]