Inside Move: Gallic distrib, Miramax separation tussle

Bac biting

While Miramax’s relationship with new French distrib partner TF1 is in its honeymoon stage, the Hollywood company and former paramour Bac Majestic are still enmeshed in a messy legal entanglement.

Miramax ended a long-standing output deal with the Gallic distribber earlier this year to team up with French broadcaster TF1 in the theatrical distribution joint venture TFM.

But Bac’s Jean Labadie, who recently saw his embattled company salvaged by an outside investor, claims Miramax walked out on him without adhering to terms of their contract. .

“I don’t want to stay married to someone who doesn’t love me anymore,” he tells Variety, “but when there’s a divorce there are loads of issues — such as who gets the kids — that have to be sorted out.”

For its part, Miramax also feels shortchanged in the soured relationship.

In a partial settlement last week, Bac’s video subsid Wild Side did agree to pay $2 million to Miramax — equivalent to a minimum guarantee for three Miramax titles it distributed despite the split.

Leonard Rosman, Miramax’s lawer in Paris, says he’s “very pleased” with the payment, but nonetheless announced that the U.S. firm is suing for at least $5 million.

Bac also claims victory in the partial settlement.

“Paying this mimimum guarantee proves that there was a contract between us and Miramax,” asserts a lawyer for the Gallic distribber.

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