Nu Image today filed a lawsuit against shuttered Overture Films for what could be millions in unpaid proceeds from a trio of films. The films noted in the complaint (read it here) are 2010’s Brooklyn’s Finest, the 2008 Robert De Niro and Al Pacino movie Righteous Kill and 2008’s Mad Money starring Diane Keaton and Queen Latifah. Nu Image says that they and Brooklyn’s Finest Distribution inked deals with Overture for exclusive distribution rights for the films “in the United States and its territories for 20 years.” Noting that all three seemed to make good money theatrically and in home entertainment, the complaint alleges Breach of contract, the Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing, Accounting and Declaratory Relief.
Actor claims he is owed a share of takings from the hit 1993 film, in which he played a cryogenically frozen cop fighting crime in the future
Sylvester Stallone is suing Warner Bros for fraud, alleging that the studio intentionally concealed profits from the 1993 sci-fi film Demolition Man.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the actor filed the complaint through his company Rogue Marble productions. The suit alleges “outright and obviously intentional dishonesty” on the part of Warner Bros in its accounting of the film, with the result being that Stallone and Rogue Marble weren’t paid the profits they were owed.
“The motion picture studios are notoriously greedy,” states the complaint. “This one involves outright and obviously intentional dishonesty perpetrated against an international iconic talent. Here, WB decided it just wasn’t going to account to Rogue Marble on the film. WB just sat on the money owed to Rogue Marble for years and told itself, without any justification, that Rogue Marble was not owed any profits.”
A judge ruled Tuesday that a lawsuit against Walt Disney Pictures that alleges the studio underpaid a widow’s late husband in the profits of a 1989 Tom Hanks comedy and also interfered with an accounting firm’s contract with the woman can move forward.
Christine Wagner, widow and heir of producer Raymond Wagner, and the accounting company Robinson & Co. filed suit in April 2015. The widow, who chose Robinson & Co. to perform an audit, alleges Disney owes her money from her husband’s production of “Turner & Hooch,” a film about a police officer and a dog.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Samantha Jessner denied a motion by Disney attorneys to dismiss four of the lawsuit’s seven causes of action, including those alleging intentional interference with contractual relations and a request for an accounting. The motion did not challenge the plaintiffs’ claims for breach of contract and fraud.
Polsky Films, which put up P&A money on Warner Herzog’s ‘Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call—New Orleans,’ says that Nu Image and First Look Studios ran away with 2009 film’s proceeds.
Investors in the 2009 Nicolas Cage film Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call—New Orleans have filed a lawsuit against Nu Image and First Look Studios, claiming that proceeds from the motion picture have not been shared and that top executives have siphoned off revenue.
Polsky Films, a film production outfit founded by brothers Alan and Gabe Polsky, filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court. According to the complaint, Polsky put up $1.3 million to finance the print and advertising budget for the U.S. distribution of the film. The financing agreement allegedly stipulated that Nu Image and First Look had to establish a collection account at Comerica bank and was obligated to pay all U.S. proceeds from the film into this account. The agreement limited deductions to home video packaging, freight and delivery expenses.
Rysher Entertainment, Mark Cuban’s 2929 Entertainment and Qualia Capital claim that Cox Media Group agreed to indemnify them for more than $44 million in losses stemming from Johnson’s recent legal victory over profits from the hit CBS series.
The long-running legal war over Nash Bridges has entered a new battlefield.Former owners of the CBS hit who lost $15 million in a lawsuit brought by Don Johnson over profits from the series are now attempting to recoup the loss and more from the company that sold them the show in the first place. Rysher Entertainment, Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner‘s 2929 Entertainment and Qualia Capital sued Cox Media Group on Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court for more than $44 million, claiming Cox must indemnify them from losses, lost future revenue and attorneys fees because a Cox accounting move resulted in $71.4 million in production expenses being withheld from calculating Johnson’s share of profits.
Some things just aren’t worth fighting for after all.
Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have dropped their breach-of-contract lawsuit against three companies that put up part of the money to make My Big Fat Greek Wedding, which they had accused of hanging onto a bigger-than-fair share of the proceeds.
Production companies representing the powerhouse couple, coproducer Gary Goetzman and Wedding star Nia Vardalos, whom Hanks and Wilson teamed up with after catching her one-act play the culture-clash comedy was based on, sued Gold Circle Films, Big Wedding Productions and Vortex Pictures last August.
An attorney for the plaintiffs filed papers Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court requesting a dismissal “without prejudice,” meaning they can choose to refile their complaint at a later date. There was no immediate comment from their camp as to why they decided to abandon ship.
A nearly seven-year lawsuit over profits from the Oscar-winning Crash finally might be putting on the brakes. Late last week, a three-judge appeals court panel found in favor of the 2004 film’s director/co-writer Paul Haggis, co-writer/producer Bobby Moresco, producer Mark Harris and actor Brendan Fraser and concurred with a December 2011 lower court ruling that awarded the four $12 million. “In a bench trial the court found for the plaintiffs and awarded them over $12,000,000 in damages and prejudgment interest,” the 2nd Appellate Court said in its January 31 ruling (read it here). “We conclude that appellants have not carried their burden of showing prejudicial error, and we therefore affirm,” Judges Frances Rothschild, Jeffrey Miller and Victoria Chaney added. Since its wide release on May 6, 2005, Crash — which won Best Picture and two other Academy Awards —has made more than $98 million worldwide.
Warner Bros. and the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien have resolved a rights dispute over “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings,” the two parties said in a court filing.
The settlement ends a legal scuffle that has pitted the film studio and the author’s heirs against one another since 2012. The conflict stemmed from the digital exploitation of the hobbits, wizards, elves, and other fantastical characters from the hit films in online slot machines and other games. The Tolkien estate and publisher HarperCollins alleged that the studio never had rights to license characters for these purposes. Warner Bros. countersued, claiming that the estate cost it “millions of dollars in license fees” from merchandising when it filed a legal challenge.
A federal appeals court on Monday upheld a $319 million verdict over profits from the game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and rejected Walt Disney Co.’s request for a new trial.
A jury decided in 2010 that Disney hid the show’s profits from its creators, London-based Celador International. The ruling Monday by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found no issues with the verdict or with a judge’s rulings in the case.
“I am pleased that justice has been done,” Celador Chairman Paul Smith said in a statement.
Disney did not immediately comment on the decision.
Roger Rabbit’s creator sued Walt Disney Co., claiming the studio has been cheating him out of revenue from the hit movie and hare-related merchandise.
According to a lawsuit filed Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court by Gary K. Wolf, who wrote the book “Who Censored Roger Rabbit?,” Disney has foiled attempts by the Massachusetts author to learn exactly how much money the 1988 film “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” has made.
A new class of website has arisen during this century that is based on users uploading materials (copyrighted and not) that other users can consume. These sites are described in several different ways, but I shall refer to them as user uploaded content (UUC) sites. The largest such site, YouTube, has well over a billion users and is the largest music streaming site in the world, as well as streaming other types of content.
In the 1990s, prior to the emergence of UUCs, legislators were setting up rules for businesses on the Internet and were asked to help nascent Internet Service Providers (ISPs) by weakening traditional copyright laws with respect to copyright materials that might be uploaded to ISPs. Legislation was created that included provisions to help ISPs avoid being blamed for copyright infringement undertaken by their users, and a key component in doing so was the “safe harbor” which, as the name implies, allowed ISPs to avoid copyright liability as long as the ISPs followed certain rules, the most important of which is known by the term “notice and takedown,” essentially requiring them to remove infringing works quickly after being notified of such infringement.
The safe harbor has become a contentious issue as music copyright owners feel that the safe harbor has allowed rich and powerful UUCs to arise while paying either nothing or what appear to be unusually small amounts to copyright owners, even though a large portion of the UUC users consume copyrighted music. UUCs argue that this is not the case at all.
In the following report, I examine the intended purpose of the safe harbor, the nature of the UUC market that has arisen under the auspices of the safe harbor, and the economic consequences of the safe harbor.