Photo: Weinstein Co.
The Weinstein Company failed to get a million dollar lawsuit against it thrown out of court alleging the studio failed to pay “The Reader” author for profits from its 2008 Oscar-nominated film. Yesterday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mark V. Mooney ruled “Reader” author Bernard Schlink sufficiently proved his claim the Weinstein Company was in breach of a contract from more than a decade ago potentially granting him at least $1 million.
In January, Schlink sued the Weinstein Company claiming he was never paid for profits from the Oscar winning film.
“The Reader” stars Kate Winslet, who took home the Oscar for Best Actress that year, as a woman convicted of war crimes in a Nazi concentration camp. To date, the film has grossed more than $108.9 million worldwide.
Schlink claimed he was entitled to an amount between 2.5 and five per cent of gross receipts from the film due to a $1.5 million adaptation deal he made with the Weinstein’s former company Miramax in 1998.
However, the Weinstein Company claims no such deal was ever made to pay Schlink film profits after signing over rights to the film.
In 2005, Bob and Harvey Weinstein founded the Weinstein Company and instead of paying him, Schlink claims in the January suit he was sent a profit participation statement saying the studio didn’t owe him anything.
Weinstein Co. attempted to refute Schlink’s claims saying the author was already paid his dues:
“Had Plantiffs bothered to ask questions first rather than “shoot first, ask later,” they would have confirmed that no back-end payment is due because the participation statements correctly reflect the Picture’s revenues and expenses, properly account for the payments advanced to Plantiffs.”
Weinstein Company’s attorney Harrison Dossick is demanding an audit of the accounting statements for “The Reader” to show what, if any, money owed to Schlink.
Mooney did dismiss a claim that alleged the studio committed fraud by allegedly breaching the contract. saying the suit lacked “sufficient allegations that there is some sort of fraud going on here.”
View the written response to Weinstein’s complaint HERE.
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