Thursday, October 2, 2014

Hollywood Case to Watch: MGM May Lose Rights to Eastwood & Brando Classics

By Joseph Perry
September 22, 2014
PEA Films, Inc., (PEA) which owns the rights to Hollywood classics “The Good, the Bad and The Ugly,” “For a Few Dollars More,” and “Last Tango in Paris,” filed a lawsuit in late August against Metro-Goldwyn-Meyerm Inc. (MGM) to terminate MGM’s contracts with the three iconic western films. According to PEA’s complaint listed in The Hollywood Reporter, PEA claims that MGM did not give PEA “honest and accurate accounting statements, showing revenue and expenses, together with timely payment of the amounts due to PEA.” In addition to the accounting statements PEA seeks damages in excess of $5 million.
PEA and MGM have had their disagreements before. In the 1990s, PEA sued MGM twice for underpaying PEA, and the parties eventually settled in both lawsuits. The settlements, however, did not end the issue. The parties continued to fight over audit reports in the 2000s, in which MGM delayed its payments to PEA. The Hollywood Reporter states that “PEA suspects MGM’s method of accounting is no accident, asserting the defendant is engaged in a ‘Hollywood accounting catch me if you can’ process designed intentionally to keep for itself money rightfully due to PEA.” It seems that PEA has finally drawn the line and seeks to cancel MGM’s contracts.
Ronald S. Taft and Howard J. Schwartz of Wolff & Samson PC represents PEA.

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