Goldcrest Film Distribution has filed a breach of contract lawsuit against Summit Distribution in a bid to recover millions of dollars it claims it is owed from profits made by the Twilight franchise.
The breach of contract and declaratory relief action was filed yesterday by Goldcrest’s lawyers in LA.
Goldcrest claims that millions of pounds were “wrongfully withheld by Summit Distribution as a result of erroneous, deceptive, and improper accounting practices”.
According to the UK financier, which paid Summit $10 million in 2008 to help make Twilight and three other films in the series, the company has not received its full share of the net revenues made by the blockbuster hits, which have grossed hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office alone.
The complaint, filed to the California Superior Court, alleges that Summit improperly charged Goldcrest a 47% distribution fee on merchandising, $6m in retroactive bonuses to actors Kristen Stewart and Robert and that it whithheld millions of additional dollars in home video and video sub-distribution revenues.
“We uncovered numerous improper accounting charges, including retroactive ‘bonuses’ paid to actors Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson after Twilight was released, which were not due under their agreements. These bonuses were paid and charged back to Goldcrest long after Twilight was completed,” said Kirkland & Ellis partner, Mark Holscher, who is acting for Goldcrest.
Robert Jolliffe, managing director, Goldcrest Pictures Limited stated: “Our principal conclusion is that the studio has repeatedly understated revenues and over stated costs when calculating the payments it has made to Goldcrest to date. We have made considerable attempts to address this issue via reasonable dialogue with the studio over the last year or so. Unfortunately these efforts have not yielded an acceptable outcome and so we are now left with no alternative but to pursue the matter in court.”
Summit was unavailable for comment at time of publication.