History UsefulNotes / HollywoodAccounting

29th Apr '17 12:56:18 PM Mario1995
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* In April 2017, Creator/SylvesterStallone sued Creator/WarnerBros over alleged unpaid royalties from ''Film/DemolitionMan''. In the lawsuit, it is alleged that Stallone's production company, Rogue Marble, attempted to obtain a profit participation summary from the studio in 2014, having not received one since 1997. The following year, the production company reportedly received a short statement from the studio claiming that the film had a deficit, despite earning more than $150 million worldwide gross against a $57 million budget.

to:

* In April 2017, Creator/SylvesterStallone sued Creator/WarnerBros over alleged unpaid royalties from ''Film/DemolitionMan''. In the lawsuit, it is alleged that Stallone's production company, Rogue Marble, attempted to obtain a profit participation summary from the studio in 2014, having not received one since 1997. The following year, the production company reportedly received a short statement from the studio claiming that the film had a deficit, despite earning more than $150 million worldwide gross against a $57 million budget. Some commentators have suggested that if the case ends up going in Stallone's favor, [[http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/sylvester-stallone-suing-warner-bros-fraud-dishonesty-993178 it could end up leading to a crackdown on other studio accounting schemes]].
17th Apr '17 12:50:43 AM crazyrabbits
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* In April 2017, Creator/SylvesterStallone sued Creator/WarnerBros over alleged unpaid royalties from ''Film/DemolitionMan''. In the lawsuit, it is alleged that Stallone's production company, Rogue Marble, attempted to obtain a profit participation summary from the studio in 2014, having not received one since 1997. The following year, the production company reportedly received a short statement from the studio claiming that the film had a deficit, despite earning more than $125 million gross against a $57 million budget.

to:

* In April 2017, Creator/SylvesterStallone sued Creator/WarnerBros over alleged unpaid royalties from ''Film/DemolitionMan''. In the lawsuit, it is alleged that Stallone's production company, Rogue Marble, attempted to obtain a profit participation summary from the studio in 2014, having not received one since 1997. The following year, the production company reportedly received a short statement from the studio claiming that the film had a deficit, despite earning more than $125 $150 million worldwide gross against a $57 million budget.budget.
* Creator/MichaelMoore took the Creator/MiramaxFilms founders Bob and Harvey Weinstein to court over an alleged scheme to cheat Moore out of paying any royalties to him from the receipts of ''Fahrenheit 9/11''. They eventually settled in undisclosed terms.



* Eric Idle, on his ''Exploits Creator/MontyPython'' concert tour at the TurnOfTheMillennium, noted that the troupe's final film, ''Film/MontyPythonsTheMeaningOfLife'', was the only one made with major studio backing (Creator/{{Universal}} Pictures)...and thus the only one that apparently didn't turn a profit. So in this tour's version of "The Crimson Permanent Assurance", there's an additional verse about studio accountants.



* Universal [[http://variety.com/2016/biz/news/out-of-africa-lawsuit-30-years-after-release-1201834662/ got into trouble with a producer of]] 1985's ''Film/OutOfAfrica'' when he discovered that 31 years after its release, he still had received no payment from his involvement in the movie.



* Creator/MichaelMoore took the Creator/MiramaxFilms founders Bob and Harvey Weinstein to court over an alleged scheme to cheat Moore out of paying any royalties to him from the receipts of ''Fahrenheit 9/11''. They eventually settled in undisclosed terms.
* Eric Idle, on his ''Exploits Creator/MontyPython'' concert tour at the TurnOfTheMillennium, noted that the troupe's final film, ''Film/MontyPythonsTheMeaningOfLife'', was the only one made with major studio backing (Creator/{{Universal}} Pictures)...and thus the only one that apparently didn't turn a profit. So in this tour's version of "The Crimson Permanent Assurance", there's an additional verse about studio accountants.
* Universal [[http://variety.com/2016/biz/news/out-of-africa-lawsuit-30-years-after-release-1201834662/ got into trouble with a producer of]] 1985's ''Film/OutOfAfrica'' when he discovered that 31 years after its release, he still had received no payment from his involvement in the movie.
17th Apr '17 12:41:36 AM crazyrabbits
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

* In April 2017, Creator/SylvesterStallone sued Creator/WarnerBros over alleged unpaid royalties from ''Film/DemolitionMan''. In the lawsuit, it is alleged that Stallone's production company, Rogue Marble, attempted to obtain a profit participation summary from the studio in 2014, having not received one since 1997. The following year, the production company reportedly received a short statement from the studio claiming that the film had a deficit, despite earning more than $125 million gross against a $57 million budget.
2nd Apr '17 11:41:05 AM TSims
Is there an issue? Send a Message


Needless to say, this is mostly a Hollywood (and American) trope, since [[ValuesDissonance doing this outside the U.S. is considered fraud in many countries]].[[note]]Not that some non-American companies and directors hasn't tried this trope before in their countries, with various results.[[/note]]

to:

Needless to say, this is mostly a Hollywood (and American) trope, since [[ValuesDissonance doing this outside the U.S. is considered fraud in many countries]].[[note]]Not that some non-American companies and directors hasn't tried this trope before in their countries, with various results.[[/note]]
[[/note]] This trope is also pretty prevalent with the recording industry as well. Artists somehow ending up broke even after having a huge record that sold ''millions'' of copies.
4th Mar '17 2:15:32 PM nombretomado
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* This was the origin of the Creator/StanLee vs [[MarvelComics Marvel Enterprises]] lawsuit: Stan's contract said he was entitled to 10% of Marvel's profits from their movies ... and Marvel's share of the net from ''Film/{{Blade}}'' turned out to be zero. When Marvel got wise and started asking for a percentage of the gross, they tried to claim that Stan's contract didn't cover that. A court of law disagreed.

to:

* This was the origin of the Creator/StanLee vs [[MarvelComics [[Creator/MarvelComics Marvel Enterprises]] lawsuit: Stan's contract said he was entitled to 10% of Marvel's profits from their movies ... and Marvel's share of the net from ''Film/{{Blade}}'' turned out to be zero. When Marvel got wise and started asking for a percentage of the gross, they tried to claim that Stan's contract didn't cover that. A court of law disagreed.
21st Jan '17 12:33:01 PM korpse_man
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

* PlayedForLaughs in ''Film/ShakespeareInLove''.
-->'''Philip Henslowe:''' But I have to pay the actors and the author!
-->'''Hugh Fennymman:''' Share of the profits.
-->'''Philip Henslowe:''' But there never are any?!
-->'''Hugh Fennymman:''' Exactly.
-->'''Philip Henslowe:''' Oh, Oh Mr Fennyman. I think you may have hit upon something!
20th Nov '16 3:07:00 PM eroock
Is there an issue? Send a Message


->''"Well, it's like stupid points. Stupid to take the points. "Won't be any net profits?" You sit there with your points going, 'Eeeh, eeh, eeh, eeh, eeh.'"''
-->-- '''Creator/EddieMurphy''', explaining why he called net points "monkey points"
12th Nov '16 4:57:52 PM bwburke94
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* Paramount and Creator/{{CBS}} have never paid any of the ''Franchise/StarTrek'' actors for the use of their image in any of the merchandising that has been sold for the series, claiming that it has lost money in all of them. [[SarcasmMode It is impressive that they keep producing all this merchandise that does nothing but lose money, isn't it?]]

to:

* Paramount and Creator/{{CBS}} have never paid any of the ''Franchise/StarTrek'' actors for the use of their image in any of the merchandising that has been sold for the series, claiming that it has lost money in all of them. [[SarcasmMode It is impressive that they keep producing all this merchandise that does nothing but lose money, isn't it?]]
28th Aug '16 3:42:31 PM missmoon
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

* The major reason that both Music/BackstreetBoys and Music/{{NSYNC}} sued and ultimately parted ways with the late Lou Pearlman was that he was embellishing their contracts so that over half the money they earned from gigs and sales went to him directly and that he even gave himself royalties from the songwriting. Even after that, he was also running a massive Ponzi scheme that defrauded people who trusted him over $300 million, which lead to his arrest, conviction and death in prison for fraud.
16th Aug '16 9:36:01 PM PaulA
Is there an issue? Send a Message


!!In-universe examples:

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* ''ComicStrip/{{Dilbert}}'' described this trope as follows:
-->'''Dogbert:''' The net is what you land in after you jump off a cliff when you realize that the deal you signed won't get you any money.\\
'''Dilbert:''' What if there is no net?\\
'''Dogbert:''' It's gross.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film - Live Action]]
* Used as a plot device in ''Film/TheProducers''. The premise of the scheme is to massively oversell shares in a Broadway production, then create a [[SpringtimeForHitler deliberate flop]], leaving the "heroes" free to flee with the money.[[labelnote:math]]If you raise $2,000,000 by selling 20% of the gross to 100 people for $20,000 each (There's a lot of little old ladies out there!), Then make only $10,000 on opening night, 20% of gross x $10,000 x 100 people = $200,000. You pocket the remaining $1,800,000, and go to Rio![[/labelnote]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* In the ''Literature/SunnyRandall'' book ''Blue Screen'': Sunny, working as a bodyguard for an actress, is discussing Hollywood Accounting with an industry lawyer that she has been seeing on-and-off. She asks if this sort of practice is done. The response is "I know accountants who could convincingly demonstrate on paper that ''Literature/GoneWithTheWind'' [[note]]Which, as of 2014 is ''still'' the highest grossing film of all time, when adjusted for inflation[[/note]] showed no profit."
* Creator/JohnScalzi's ''Literature/AgentToTheStars'' [[DiscussedTrope discusses]] this extensively, since the protagonist is an actor's agent by trade.
* In ''Literature/FallingFree'', the corporation that made quaddies did some creative accounting to claim that all the R&D expenses involved in creating, raising and training the quaddies were legitimate business expenses for a totally unrelated business the company was doing in the same area, allowing them to cut the apparent profits of said business and reduce their tax burden. A change in the local tax code that stopped them from doing this anymore, followed by a technical breakthrough that reduced the utility of quaddies significantly, resulted in the quaddie project being scrapped (and the person in charge trying to kill all the quaddies).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''Literature/ThatWackyRedhead'', this is what prompts George Lucas to sue Paramount Pictures over the issue of [[Franchise/StarWars Journey of the Force]]'s being one of the most successful movies ever, while George barely saw a cent of those profits. [[spoiler:It ends up with victory for Lucas, and Paramount forced to pay ''1 '''billion''' dollars''.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* This was discussed in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Freakazoid}}'', of all places. Our hero is advising the alien Mo-Ron about life on Earth, and says, "Always ask for a piece of the gross. Not the net. The net is ''fantasy''." While he says this, he is signing a contract with checkboxes marked "Net (sucker)" and "Gross (better get a lawyer)".
[[/folder]]

!!Real life examples:



* Used as a plot device in ''Film/TheProducers''. The premise of the scheme is to massively oversell shares in a Broadway production, then create a [[SpringtimeForHitler deliberate flop]], leaving the "heroes" free to flee with the money.[[labelnote:math]]If you raise $2,000,000 by selling 20% of the gross to 100 people for $20,000 each (There's a lot of little old ladies out there!), Then make only $10,000 on opening night, 20% of gross x $10,000 x 100 people = $200,000. You pocket the remaining $1,800,000, and go to Rio![[/labelnote]]



[[folder:Literature]]
* In-universe example, in the ''Literature/SunnyRandall'' book ''Blue Screen'': Sunny, working as a bodyguard for an actress, is discussing Hollywood Accounting with an industry lawyer that she has been seeing on-and-off. She asks if this sort of practice is done. The response is "I know accountants who could convincingly demonstrate on paper that ''Literature/GoneWithTheWind'' [[note]]Which, as of 2014 is ''still'' the highest grossing film of all time, when adjusted for inflation[[/note]] showed no profit."
* [[Creator/JohnScalzi John Scalzi]]'s ''Literature/AgentToTheStars'' [[DiscussedTrope discusses]] this extensively, since the protagonist is an actor's agent by trade.
* In ''Literature/FallingFree'', the corporation that made quaddies did some creative accounting to claim that all the R&D expenses involved in creating, raising and training the quaddies were legitimate business expenses for a totally unrelated business the company was doing in the same area, allowing them to cut the apparent profits of said business and reduce their tax burden. A change in the local tax code that stopped them from doing this anymore, followed by a technical breakthrough that reduced the utility of quaddies significantly, resulted in the quaddie project being scrapped (and the person in charge trying to kill all the quaddies).
[[/folder]]



[[folder:Web Original]]
* In Literature/ThatWackyRedhead, this is what prompts George Lucas to sue Paramount Pictures over the issue of [[Franchise/StarWars Journey of the Force]]'s being one of the most successful movies ever, while George barely saw a cent of those profits. [[spoiler:It ends up with victory for Lucas, and Paramount forced to pay ''1 '''billion''' dollars''.]]
[[/folder]]



* This was discussed in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Freakazoid}}'', of all places. Our hero is advising the alien Mo-Ron about life on Earth, and says, "Always ask for a piece of the gross. Not the net. The net is ''fantasy''."
** While he says this, he is signing a contract with checkboxes marked "Net (sucker)" and "Gross (better get a lawyer)".
* ''ComicStrip/{{Dilbert}}'' described this trope as follows
-->'''Dogbert:''' The net is what you land in after you jump off a cliff when you realize that the deal you signed won't get you any money.\\
'''Dilbert:''' What if there is no net?\\
'''Dogbert:''' It's gross.
This list shows the last 10 events of 92. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=UsefulNotes.HollywoodAccounting