Check Out Our New Look

STUDIO SHAME! Even Harry Potter Pic Loses Money Because Of Warner Bros’ Phony Baloney Net Profit Accounting

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Signing a deal that makes anyone a net profit participant  in  a Hollywood movie deal has always been a sucker’s bet. In an era where studios have all but eliminated first dollar gross and invited talent to share the risk and potential rewards, guess what? Net profit deals are still a sucker’s bet. I was slipped a net profit statement (below) for Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix, the 2007 Warner Bros sequel. Though the film grossed $938.2 million worldwide, the accounting statement below conveys that the film is still over $167 million in the red. (Text continues below…)

harry potter net profits

harrypotterandtheorderofthephoenix_bigposter.jpgI ran the data above by several attorneys and agents, who are so accustomed to seeing studio accounting wave magic pencils over hit movies that they weren’t surprised even a Harry Potter film that grossed nearly $1 billion would fall under the spell. Dealmakers say studio distribution fees are a killer, as are incestuous ad spends on studios’ sister company networks. They also cited the $57 million in interest charges, an enormous pushback on profitablity. Since Warner Bros didn’t invite in a co-financing partner on the Potter films, has the studio borrowed money from parent company coffers? Are they paying that interest to a bank, or to themselves? Bottom line: nearly $60 million in interest for the estimated $400 million required to make and market Harry Potter, … Read More »

Comments 197

Who Wants To Win The ‘Millionaire’ Trial? Jury Deciding Between Disney & Celador

Nellie Andreeva

millionaire-logo-mediumAfter a 6 year legal maneuvering and a month-long trial, the $250 million case of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? producer Celador v. Disney over profits from the hit game show is now in the hands of the jury. Throughout the parade of witnesses, Celador seemed to prove that it earned less than it could have from the success of the show on ABC. The question is whether it was able to convince the jurors that it was the result of Disney-owned ABC and co-producer Buena Vista TV brokering sweetheart deals among themselves, thus allegedly cheating Celador out of millions — and not because it just made a bad deal. Read More »

Comments (2)

Jack Klugman Sues Over ‘Quincy M.E’ Accounting; NBC Uni Claims $66M Losses

The complaint was filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court. This really sounds like one of the worst cases of phony-baloney studio accounting, not to mention sheer arrogance, in Hollywood history. Geez, when is Big Media going to stop this larceny? For instance, according to the lawsuit, NBC Uni is claiming that, as of the end of fiscal year 2006, Quincy M.E. has accumulated over $66 million in net losses — this after we all know that the 1976-1983 series is a classic shown all over the world even to this day. Through his Beverly Hills attorneys Johnson & Johnson [UPDATE: This firm and another are representing me in a class action lawsuit related to a personal matter. I forgot to disclose that when I wrote this post on a busy news day. I apologize for the omission.]

Klugman just gave this statement to me: “I don’t want their money. I want my money. I can’t believe they’ve collected over $250 million dollars and they say they are still in the hole. I have 28% of the net and they won’t even give me a copy of my contract. I worked for them for almost 8 years. I got up at 4 o’clock in the morning. I would rewrite. I did a ton of work. It’s on every day. I haven’t gotten a penny for years.”

nbcuni-logo1.gifWorse, the lawsuit claims that when Klugman asked to see his paperwork with NBC Uni, the … Read More »

Comments 42