Franchise Pictures has announced that it will file suit against Intertainment Licensing GmbH, Intertainment AG and Barrie Baeres in Los Angeles County Superior Court this morning. Details of the suit will be revealed during the morning.
According to Franchise, the LA-based independent production company headed by Elie Samaha, Franchise had previously filed an action against the publicly traded German distributor but it was dismissed at Intertainment's request, "so that the parties could make a last ditch effort at resolving their differences," according to a statement from Franchise.
Baeres flew to LA this week to meet with Franchise but the parties were unable to reach an agreement. As reported on Screendaily on Tuesday, Intertainmant stated that its subsidiary Intertainment Licensing had entered into negotiations with Franchise: 'to clarify differences between the companies in their business relationship, which are also straining Intertainment Licensing GmbH's relationship with its sub-licensees -.with the goal of reorganising the business relationship with the Franchise Group'.
According to the Franchise statement, the relationship between the two companies which was sealed at AFM 1999 has seriously deteriorated and "Franchise does not believe it can continue to work with Intertainment." The statement goes on: "In addition to seeking damages and other remedies, Franchise will seek to terminate its output arrangement for future films with Intertainment and move forward with other companies to distribute its up-coming slate of pictures. Franchise already has in place a deal with Epsilon and is looking forward to working with Epsilon in distributing its first-class roster of films."
Intertainment has certainly not fared well with the Franchise pictures so far which include the mega-flop Battlefield Earth and box office disappointments Get Carter and The Art Of War. Only The Whole Nine Yards has performed well at the box office.
Details of the Franchise suit and the Intertainment response will appear on Screendaily throughout the day in Los Angeles.