U seeks ruling in ‘Lampoon’ case

Universal City Studios Inc. has deposited $ 102,987 with the clerk of the Los Angeles Superior Court and filed a petition asking that the court decide whether the money belongs to producer Matty Simmons or to Yearbook Movie Co.

Simmons and Yearbook, which is a joint venture consisting of a subsidiary of National Lampoon Inc. and Ivan Reitman Enterprises Inc., have been engaged in a long-running legal battle over rights to the proceeds from films including “National Lampoon’s Animal House.”

Universal had been paying 10% of certain “contingent compensation” on the film to Simmons and the rest to Yearbook until it got a notice last October from Simmons that he was now entitled to all the money. Shortly thereafter, Universal said, Yearbook told the studio to disregard Simmons’ notice.

Both sides have threatened to sue Universal, the suit said, so it wants the court to force the two sides to litigate the issue. The studio also wants to be discharged from any liability.

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