On the day that AFM 2012 opens, a film that was sold at AFM 2009 got pulled into court. In a civil complaint filed today (read it here), MIME Investments claims that they lost $4 million on Little Murder because GK Films lied to them about how much the film would make in international sales. “Defendants intentionally provided Plaintiffs with overinflated false estimates for the foreign sales of the Picture and provided Plaintiffs with false assurances that the estimates would be achieved”, says the Fraud and Negligent Misrepresentation suit. A Little Murder sizzle reel was shown to buyers at the 2009 AFM. The thriller released in 2011 stars Josh Lucas and Terrence Howard. GK Film’s former President of International Distribution Lisa Wilson, Parlay Films, cited as a banner of GK Films, and other company employees are also targeted as defendants in the case.
MIME says GK Films told them that Little Murder could make between $5,085,000 and $6,770,000 in foreign sales. They say they believed those numbers because “international sales of motion pictures is a niche area of expertise” and GK Films were “experts in international distribution.” The actual foreign sales, says MIME in their complaint, ended up being 80% less than the low-end estimates and the company lost their investment. The plaintiffs claim that GK Films gave them the estimates to secure their multi-million dollar investment in order to make up the difference between the movie’s budget and “loans that could be obtained to make the Picture.” MIME want their $4 million back plus interest, punitive and actual damages, legal fees, and “disgorgement in the amount of Defendants’ unjust enrichment as a result of their fraud.” The plaintiffs have asked for a five-day jury trial. Marc Williams of Newport Beach firm ONE LLP represents MIME Investments and Mind In Motion Entertainment.
Deadline's Dominic Patten - tip him here.