Boffo B.O. isn’t the only thing that’s mind-bending about “Matrix: Reloaded” — so apparently is the payday due the Wachowski brothers.
It’s a whopping $16 million upfront for the sequels and untold millions thereafter, according to details that have come to light in the ongoing divorce proceedings between Larry Wachowski and his estranged wife Thea Bloom.
On May 14, the day the pic was sneaked Stateside, L.A. Superior Court Judge Rolf True signed an order to freeze Larry Wachowski’s assets so that a proper accounting on behalf of Bloom could be made. The court papers were first unearthed Wednesday by Web site Thesmokinggun.com.
“I have learned that Larry and his brother Andrew were due to receive what adds up to more than $16 million (from the ‘Matrix’ sequels),” Bloom stated in a May 9 declaration. “I do not know what happened to this money.”
According to a letter from Bloom attorney Dena Kleeman, however, the brothers’ profit participation in the “Matrix” sequels may be penalized since they went over budget.
With the penalties, the films must earn a break-even of $350 million (rather than $225 million) before participation kicks in, and gross participation drops from 5% to 2.5%.
On March 20, Bloom wrote, “Peter (Grossman, the Wachowskis’ attorney) indicates they are negotiating with Warner Bros. in hopes of waiving this penalty.”
However, the brothers stand to rake in the most cash with their videogame deals. Under their deal with Infogrames, which produced “Enter the Matrix,” the Wachowskis were paid $2.25 million. Against that advance, they’re entitled to royalties of 14% against net sales in excess of 2.5 million units. (Four million units at a retail price of $50 each were shipped May 14.)
For the online “Matrix” game, the brothers will receive $2.5 million in staggered payments from Warners. The Wachowskis then receive 5% of net receipts.
Of course, the Wachowskis don’t get all of that dough.
According to Grossman’s correspondence, 5% goes to their management company, Circle of Confusion; 5% to the William Morris Agency; 5% to law firm Lichter, Grossman, Nichols, Adler & Goodman; and “a portion” to Joel Silver’s production company.
Finally, the Wachowskis have, per the documents, earmarked 10% for their “posse,” key technical personnel whose hard work on the picture they want to reward.