Back in July a jury told Disney they owed the creators of the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire concept $319 million. That’s a lot of phone-a-friends. This was seen as the biggest court statement against “Hollywood Accounting” that is famous for properties that rake in hundreds of millions of dollars over production costs showing a loss when the final accounting is done. It’s not the first time Hollywood accounting has lost in court, but it was definitely the largest.
Disney appealed, of course. But the judge today denied Disney’s appeal, at least for now. If this is upheld, Disney will have a more difficult time appealing the case further up the chain. But there is no doubt they’ll continue to pursue all legal options open to them.
Frankly, I’m surprised any studio still practices this form of accounting. Just lay it out in addendums so everyone is clear that the studio will be charging back the costs of studio use, maintenance, and overhead. Then the creators, writers, and other talent can negotiate their deals in a transparent manner. I also want a pony, a mustang, and a Gold pass to Disneyland. But it will be a cold day in you-know-where before either happens.
(Via the Hollywood Reporter)