Two-year-old case stems from an option held by Thomas Langmann’s late father Claude Berri to produce the third film by Nothing to Declare director and star Dany Boon.
A French court has ruled that Pathe must share its profits on the box-office hit Nothing to Declare (Rien à declarer) with producer Thomas Langmann and his brother Darius.
The two-year-old case stems from an option held by the Langmann’s father, the late, legendary director and producer Claude Berri, to produce the third film by Nothing to Declare director and star Dany Boon.
Berri, who is best remembered for his productions Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources, produced Boon’s first two films La Maison du Bonheur and Welcome to the Sticks (Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis), a huge hit in France where it took more than €100,000 million at the box office.
Following Berri’s death in 2009, Pathé and Dany Boon went onto produce Nothing to Lose on their own, ignoring Berri’s option and the rights of la Petite Reine, the production house run by Thomas Langmann which merged it with his father’s production house Hirsch following his death.
Langmann’s lawyer Florence Watrin told national news agency AFP that the court had “recognized that the legitimate rights of La Petite Reine to the film Nothing to Declare had not been respected in spite of an agreement signed by Claude Berri, Jerome Seydoux and Dany Boon.”
She said the court had ordered Pathé to pay the Langmann’s 30% of its net profits on Nothing to Declare up to a maximum sum of €12 million and that Pathé had a month to reveal its accounts for the film.
A comedy about two rival custom officers from either side of the Franco-Belgian border forced to work together following the abolition of European border controls in the late 1990s, Nothing to Declare is the best performing film at the French box office so far this year.
Released in last February, it has racked up some eight million admissions to date, beating international blockbusters like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 and Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.