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Sean Cunningham Suing Over 2009 Friday the 13th Profits

January 30, 2021 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
friday-the-13th-2009 Image Credit: New Line Cinema

Sean Cunningham has gotten involved in another Friday the 13th lawsuit, suing Warner Bros., Paramount, and New Line for profits he says he was cheated out of. THR reports that Cunningham, who produced and directed the original and produced several other entries, filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday alleging that the studios “systematically misaccounted” compensation for the film.

According to trademark and entertainment lawyer Larry Zerner, the lawsuit is specifically in relation to the 2009 Friday the 13th reboot and no other films in the series. Cunningham’s complaint alleges that “Hollywood accounting” was used by the studios to cheat him out of owed profits on the reboot. “Hollywood accounting” is a fairly common term related to accusations — often valid, but sometimes not — that studios used creative accounting measures to hide profits to the profit, which may then be owed to talent due to royalties and profit-sharing clauses.

Zerner notes that these lawsuits are fairly common and “will probably result in the Defendants paying Sean some money in the future.” The 2009 Friday the 13th film grossed $92.7 million against a production budget of $19 million, plus marketing.

This is not the only Friday the 13th-related lawsuit Cunningham is engaged in. The producer is engaged in a lawsuit with original film writer Victor Miller over the rights to the film, which is pending a ruling with the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.

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Friday the 13th, Jeremy Thomas