Fox, Gladden battle over pic revs

Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. and Gladden Entertainment Corp. have filed separate L.A. Superior Court suits against each other over revenues from the film “Mannequin on the Move,” aka “Mannequin Two: On the Move.”

Fox’s suit says that Gladden and Bruce McNall, who guaranteed Gladden’s obligation, owe Fox $ 4,514,875 under a Dec. 17, 1990, distribution agreement.

The contract, according to the suit, calls for the producer to pay Fox for any “guaranteed shortfall” calculated 15 months after the film’s release by projecting the film’s ultimate gross receipts and costs.

Fox claims Gladden and McNall have refused to pay the shortfall since it was declared last August.

But Gladden and McNall, in their suit, say they were coerced into the agreement and guaranty after Fox threatened to cancel a previous 10-film domestic distribution agreement. Gladden says it finally involuntarily agreed to reduce Fox’s distribution obligation to nine films but was forced to go ahead with production of “Mannequin Two,” the 10th film, because of foreign distribution and financing agreements.

After Gladden was unable to find another domestic distributor for the film, it again approached Fox, the suit said. Fox then allegedly demanded McNall’s guaranty and McNall had no choice but to agree “under duress and menace.”

After demanding the shortfall in August, Fox allegedly stopped providing accountings on all 10 Gladden films it was distributing (along with three films provided by Sherwood Prods., another plaintiff in the Gladden suit) and has stopped making payments due.

Gladden and McNall want a rescission of the “Mannequin Two” deal and guaranty , an accounting, and unspecified damages.

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