×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Ruling favors Bobo

Judge denies motion by former Manex trio

An Alameda County Superior Court judge this week denied motions by former employees of Manex Entertainment (“The Matrix”) requesting an order to prevent managing director Robert Bobo from transferring ownership of the f/x company in an alleged sales scheme.

Judge James Richman ruled that Michael Van Himbergen, Roger Davis and Dr. Steven Gillam were unlikely to prevail on their claim that Bobo is attempting to sell Manex for about $20 million in an attempt to defraud the trio of their ownership rights and keep royalty fees from software development and other revenues out of their pockets.

Filed just prior to the Academy Awards, where “The Matrix” won for best visual f/x, the preliminary injunction request brought up unsubstantiated charges of fraud and forgery to support the motion.

“These disaffected individuals have a history of using public exposure to try their case in the media,” Bobo said in a statement. “They had no qualms in saying anything, however inflammatory, to pursue their own self interest, knowing that due to this matter pending before the court, we could not speak publicly on the eve of the company’s finest hour.”

‘Not selling’

Bobo also stressed that he is not selling Manex.

“We’re not selling the company,” Bobo told Daily Variety. “We’ve brought in investors and money to expand the company into new areas (including film production and Internet), upgrade our soundstages and expand our technology to produce better visual effects.”

Since Richman’s ruling, the law firm of Cheasty & Cheasty, which represents the trio, has not returned phone calls, after courting press attention last week.

Bobo said the request for a preliminary injunction has damaged Manex.

“The injury to our company is real,” Bobo said. “This deliberately timed action struck directly at the hundreds of people whose hard work and artistic dedication was about to be recognized by their peers at the 72nd Academy Awards last Sunday.”

Manex, which is bidding for the next two “Matrix” sequels, after its groundbreaking work including Flow Mo and Bullet Time visuals on the first, created shots for “Romeo Must Die” and is busy on “Mission: Impossible 2” and “Bless the Child.”

Ownership issues

Injunction request was part of a suit Manex initially filed as a Complaint for Declaratory Relief in November 1998 against the trio to counter their claims of their ownership stakes in Manex.

Developments in the suit were nonexistent until Friday’s preliminary injunction effort.

“We’re pleased with the judge’s decision and believe that it’s correct,” said Cash Nickerson of Strauss Nickerson, who is repping Bobo.

Bobo said, “We are setting our sights on the future (and) intend to make the finest creative contributions possible to our industry and we will continue our commitment to making a positive contribution to the Northern California community.”

More Biz

  • Streaming Powers U.S. Latin Music Market

    Streaming Powers U.S. Latin Music Market to 18% Growth

    The U.S. Latin music business experienced its second year of double-digit growth in 2018, driven almost entirely by streaming, according to the RIAA’s year-end report. The Latin market grew 18% in 2018 to $413 million, driven by a nearly 50% growth in revenues from paid subscriptions, the report says. Streaming formats made up a whopping [...]

  • Game Industry Layoffs Driven by Past

    Game Industry Layoffs Driven by Past Mistakes, Uncertain Future (Analysts)

    The video game industry is facing a seemingly never-ending string of layoffs and studio closures: Telltale, ArenaNet, Activision, and now EA. According to industry analysts, companies are facing declining earnings, diminishing product pipelines, and an uncertain future that is almost certain to be driven by new technology. While the debate over whether games as art [...]

  • NF_D_JGN-D14-5180.raf

    The Sexist Metal Scene in 'The Dirt' Is Painfully Accurate, Say Veteran Female Execs

    UPDATED: The fallout from Friday’s premiere of Netflix’s few-holds-barred Motley Crue biopic, “The Dirt,” began even before the film, which focuses on the quartet’s ‘80s-‘90s decade of decadence, was released. The group’s ill treatment of many women in their orbit is a matter of public record, and is depicted both seriously and unsettlingly light-heartedly in [...]

  • univision-dish blackout

    Univision, Dish Network Reach Carriage Deal After Nine-Month Blackout

    Univision and satcaster Dish Network have reached a carriage agreement after a nine-month blackout that marked one of the longest standoffs between a major programmer and distributor. Univision channels went dark on Dish Network’s satellite and streaming platforms on June 30. The sides were at odds over carriage fees that have become increasingly contentious for [...]

  • BMG Posts Strong Earnings for 2018

    BMG Posts Strong Earnings for 2018

    BMG announced solid earnings for 2018 — its tenth year since the “new” BMG opened for business after its previous incarnation merged with Sony Music — as part of parent company Bertlesmann’s results Tuesday. According to the announcement, despite “negative exchange rate effects,” BMG’s revenues increased by 7.5 percent to €545 million (around $644 million), [...]

  • Rahm Emanuel

    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Calls Jussie Smollett Deal a 'Whitewash of Justice'

    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel blasted the decision by Cook County prosecutors to drop charges Tuesday against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett. Flanked by Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson and Kevin Graham, the president of the Chicago police union, the mayor said the decision sends a message that high-profile people will not be held accountable for their [...]

  • Viacom HQ LA

    Viacom Shares Spike on DirecTV Deal, Renewed CBS Merger Chatter

    Viacom shares soared 10% on Tuesday after the company reaffirmed financial guidance for its media networks wing on the heels of sealing a hard-fought carriage renewal agreement with AT&T’s DirecTV. The stock gain underscored the importance of maintaining its presence on DirecTV and other AT&T channel bundles. Viacom on Tuesday reaffirmed its guidance of affiliate [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content