Gosh! What a mess!
When Hollywood producers aren't busy making movies, we feel like they're in court for one reason or another.
The trial between the producers of the indie comedy hit Napoleon Dynamite and Fox Searchlight (the studio that distributed it) has begun! Plaintiffs are seeking $10 million for the home video royalties and television licensing fees they never received. (Un)Lucky!
Fox tried to squash the lawsuit last month, but CLEARLY that was unsuccessful. Now a judge will determine whether or not the studio screwed the filmmakers out of net profits on home video sales.
The problem seems to be the interpretation of the language within the contract that all parties signed at the Sundance Film Festival in 2004. Producers feel they were owed 31.66% of all home video sales, but the studio is arguing that percentage
(1%, not whole) only applied to videos sold for rentals, while only a 10% royalty would be awarded for private copies.
Another dispute is regarding the contract's "Definition of Net Profits," which may not have been properly communicated to the producers before they decided to make the deal. The studio says they faxed and mailed over the deets, but producers are calling bull shiz on those claims and accusing the studio of committing perjury.
SO BASICALLY! A judge has to determine which party is interpreting the contract language correctly. Either these producers need a better lawyer for future movie deals or Fox Searchlight needs to go back to business school!