'Weekend at Bernie's' Creators Want $$$
LOS ANGELES (CN) - The writer and director of the black comedy "Weekend at Bernie's" sued MGM and Fox for their percentage of profits from the film.
Suing in Superior Court, writer-executive producer Robert Klane and director Ted Kotcheff claim the studios breached an agreement to provide an accounting of royalties from the 1989 movie.
Klane, whose writing credits include the "M*A*S*H" TV show and "National Lampoon's European Vacation," and Kotcheff, director of "Rambo: First Blood," signed on with Gladden Entertainment to write comedy "Weekend at Bernie's" in the summer of 1987, they say in the complaint.
They were to get a flat fee for their services, and a share of the film's net profits.
"Weekend at Bernie's" made more that $30 million at the box office and another $16 million in residuals, Klane and Kotcheff say, but the studios never paid them their share of profits from the film "despite the unambiguous language" in their contracts.
"So owing, plaintiffs, and each of them, have been, and continue to be, deprived of at least hundreds of millions of dollars despite fully performing under the agreements, and delivering one of the most hilarious and endearing goofball comedies of the 80's," the lawsuit states.
The men say MGM and Fox took on Gladden's obligations when rights to the film were transferred to the studios after the film's first theatrical run.
They seek and accounting, declaratory judgment and damages for breach of contract, breach of faith, conversion and deceptive business practices.
They are represented by Scott Burroughs, with Doniger/Burroughs of Culver City.