Co. attributes loss to legal fracas

BERLIN — German licensing company Intertainment recorded a massive drop in revenues in the first quarter of the year, blaming its legal dispute with former partner Franchise Pictures.

Revenues fell from last year’s DM 65.4 million ($28 million) to $4.1 million as the company recorded an operating loss of $371,000.

In early May, company honcho Barry Baeres predicted revs of $136 million for the year and operating profits of $8.6 million-$26 million depending on the results of the law suit. The war between Franchise and Intertainment burst into public view in late December when Franchise sued Intertainment in Los Angeles Superior Court, charging that the once high-flying German entertainment company had breached its output deal.

The suit was withdrawn so the parties could discuss settlement, but when talks failed, Intertainment filed a suit in federal court accusing Franchise of fraud for allegedly inflating the budgets of films it produced, including “Get Carter,” “The Pledge,” “The Art of War,” “3000 Miles to Graceland,” “Battlefield Earth” and “The Whole Nine Yards.”

Franchise refiled the next day, and the suits were later combined in federal court.

Intertainment’s share price fell by 6% to close at $4.29.

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