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Miramax, Zaentz Co. Settle Lawsuit Over ‘English Patient’ Profits

Miramax and The Saul Zaentz Co. have settled a long-running dispute over the profits from Oscar best picture winner “The English Patient.”

Producer Saul Zaentz, who died earlier this year, sued Miramax in 2011, claiming that the company and its one-time-owner Disney “engaged in multiple acts of self-dealing and unfair business practices designed to ensure that the the amount of true gross receipts generated from the exploitation of ‘The English Patient’ would be artificially manipulated and understated.” Zaentz entered into a joint venture with Miramax in 1995 to make and co-finance the picture.

Zaentz’s suit sought at least $20 million, and claimed that Miramax “contrived to keep the picture in a paper loss position no matter how much ‘The English Patient’ earned.”

But Miramax disputed whether an agreement was ever reached on the definition of the net profits that the Zaentz Co. claimed it was to receive.

The parties informed Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Richard Fruin on Monday that the case was being settled, as a trial was scheduled to begin later this month. No details were disclosed.

Zaentz actually first sued in 2006, and the suit was in federal court, but the two parties agreed to a dismissal in 2008.

Brian Wolf, attorney representing the Zaentz Co., said that the suit was “amicably resolved,” but could provide no further comment. Martin Katz, representing Miramax, had no comment.

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