It’s all but standard practice in Hollywood for studios to promise actors and filmmakers a cut of profits, and then get out of paying them by claiming so many expenses on the film it never technically turned a profit. It’s so common there’s even a name for it: Hollywood Accounting. And it doesn’t just happen with the arthouse movies, studios are so blatantly corrupt that they’ve even claimed losses on Return of the Jedi and a Harry Potter movie that grossed almost a billion dollars.
So it’s probably no surprise that Richard Dreyfuss thinks he’s getting hosed on What About Bob?
20 years after the comedy came out, the Oscar winner wants his accountants to take a look at the studio’s books to see what he could be owed – and he’s taking the House of Mouse to court over their refusal. What About Bob? co-star Richard Dreyfuss today sued Walt Disney Pictures for breach of contract and other claims over the defendants not letting the firm of Robinson & Company do an audit for him and the widow of Turner & Hooch producer Raymond Wagner, who also wants a look at Disney’s ledgers.
“Based on information and belief, Disney refused to let Robinson Inc. perform these audits on behalf of Wagner and Richard Dreyfuss because Robinson Inc. is a particularly effective and aggressive auditor who is usually able to achieve large recoveries for its clients,” says the jury-seeking filing (read it here) over why they think Disney won’t let the auditors see their ledgers on the 1991 and 1989 pics. [Deadline]
Basically, the filing says Disney won’t let this firm, who specialize in Hollywood accounting, do an audit, and instead want a big firm who doesn’t know any better, with whom Disney can use their complicated accounting trickery to hide profits. In related news, did you know Turner & Hooch actually made more money than What About Bob? ($72 million to $64 million).
I bet Richard Dreyfuss is also pissed about having to look like the uptight one yet again, having to sue for his money while Bill Murray strolls around town in his “DON’T HASSLE ME I’M LOCAL” t-shirt eating delicious chicken, and all because he lucked his way into a deal for above-the-line profits. Dreyfuss should probably grab Mickey around the sternum and give him the heimlich until he coughs up the dough. *sigh* God I love that movie.