Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Coming To America

"Buchwald v. Paramount (1990) 1990 Cal. App. LEXIS 634, was a breach of contract lawsuit filed and decided in California in which humorist and writer Art Buchwald alleged that Paramount Pictures stole his script idea and turned it into the 1988 movie Coming to America. Buchwald won the lawsuit and was awarded damages, and then accepted a settlement from Paramount before any appeal took place.
The decision was important mainly for the court's determination in the damages phase of the trial that Paramount used "unconscionable" means of determining how much to pay authors, which is widely called "Hollywood Accounting." Paramount claimed, and provided accounting evidence to support the claim, that despite the movie's $288 million in revenues, it had earned no net profit, according to the definition of "net profit" in Buchwald's contract, and hence Buchwald was owed nothing: a classic example of Hollywood accounting. The court agreed with Buchwald's argument that this was "unconscionable", and therefore invalid. Fearing a loss if it appealed, and the subsequent implications of the unconscionability decision across all its other contracts, Paramount settled for undisclosed terms. The case was the subject of a 1992 book, Fatal Subtraction: The Inside Story of Buchwald v. Paramount by Pierce O'Donnell, the lawyer who represented Buchwald, and Los Angeles Times reporter Dennis McDougal."


Monday, May 5, 2014

Stephen Hillenburg - "Spongebob Squarepants"

Kevin James - "Paul Blart: Mall Cop"

ORIGINALLY: Mall Cop by Alfred Catalfo.


"Catalfo practices personal injury and criminal law in New Hampshire and has been writing screenplays since the early 1990s... the number of similarities between Catalfo’s “Mall Cop” and “Paul Blart” are remarkable, especially considering Catalfo says he submitted his work to Happy Madison."


Sean Ellis - "Cashback"

Jonathan Lubell / Wachowskis - "The Matrix"

ORIGINALLY: The Third Eye by Sophia Stewart.

Reads: "It is hereby ORDERED that Defendant Jonathan W. Lubell is in default. Judgment will be entered against him upon the submission by Plaintiff of evidence to support the amount of damages to be entered in the judgment." 


No wonder she's smiling.