It was originally reported by The Hollywood Reporter that ‘Friday the 13th’ director and producer Sean S. Cunningham had filed a lawsuit against Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. over lost profits from the horror franchise.
Thanks to Copyright, Trademark & Entertainment Attorney, Larry Zerner, we have learned that the lawsuit only concerns profits related to the 2009 ‘Friday the 13th’ reboot and does not involve any of the other films in the franchise.
In the lawsuit, Cunningham alleges that Paramount and Warner Bros. used “Hollywood Accounting” to cheat him out of profits he should have earned from the film.
As part of the suit, Cunningham claims that an audit revealed there was improper deductions of fees and bonuses, underreported merchandise revenue and TV income, and undervaluing of the film’s license.
In addition, he states that Paramount and Warner Bros. redacted their license agreements and withheld documents in order to prevent him from getting to see the exact amount of revenue generated.
He claims that these documents will reveal that the two studios unevenly distributed funds in their favor and in favor of “third parties” associated with the film.
This is just another lawsuit in the history of the Friday the 13th franchise.
In 2018, writer Victor Miller was awarded the domestic rights to the Friday the 13th franchise away from Cunningham’s Horror Inc, due to section 203 of the Copyright Act. This act allows the original creator who transferred rights to regain those rights after a period of 35 years.
After being awarded the domestic rights, Cunningham filed an appeal, stating that Miller was a hired employee when he wrote the original ‘Friday the 13th’ script and, as such, he never should’ve been able to claim the rights to that script in the first place.
This matter, unfortunately, has yet to be resolved and could still potentially be locked in a lengthy court battle before a final decision is made.
Horrorfacts will be sure to keep you informed as new information on either lawsuit becomes available.