One of the financiers involved with the massively successful Twilight franchise has filed suit against Summit Distribution. They say they're owed buckets of money, but are being shortchanged thanks to "deceptive accounting practices."
The Hollywood Reporter says that the U.K.'s Goldcrest kicked $10 million into the movie's budget (something like $40 million), in exchange for distribution rights. Now they're suing Summit Distribution, saying they're entitled to a piece of the bigger-than-expected revenue pie and they're owed at least $6.3 million. The company also wants a closer look at the books, to make sure there's no Hollywood mathmagic screwing them over. (Goldcrest seems pretty confident they'll discover Summit has been overcharging and underreporting revenues—a double-whammy.)
Part of the fight (and an example of the nightmarishness of movie accounting) is over bonuses paid to Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and others after the first movie performed better than expected:
Summit went back to actors Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg and book author Stephenie Meyer and voluntarily paid bonuses totaling $6 million ($2.5 million each to Pattinson and Stewart, and $500,000 each to Rosenberg and Meyer).
The real purpose of that money, says the suit, was to convince the actors and writers to sign on for the first sequel, New Moon, charges Goldcrest, and so that money should not have been recorded as an expense against their profit participation.
And that's why a bunch of grown professionals will be going to court over a movie made for teenagers about sparkly virginal vampires. Hollywood—it's the land of dreams!
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