Warner Brothers says Harry Potter is a loser!
In the latest edition of Hollywood Accounting slight of hand (some would say out-and-out deception) Warner Brothers Studio is saying that they lost money and are still not in the profit on HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX even though the film brought in 938 MILLION dollars and holds the #9 position on all time World-Wide Box Office grossing films.
Nikki Finke’s Deadline.com got their hands on the balance sheet for the film and it’s a stunner…. but not really. It’s the usual Hollywood accounting nonsense.
From sweetheart licensing deals to divisions of the same company to loans it’s all fun and games when it comes to losing a profit. Deadline states that for Order of the Phoenix the studio paid over FIFTY-SEVEN MILLION DOLLARS in interest on a loan to finance the film and wonders who they borrowed the money from. Did they borrow it from a bank or from themselves?
This is nothing new. People have been suing over the insane accounting methodologies for years and every time they win or lose, nothing changes.
Alan Ladd, Jr. sued Warners over profits from several films including Chariots of Fire, the Police Academy films and believe it or not Blade Runner. He sued and won 3.2 mil in 2007 and after appeal still won almost three years later.
He stated that Warners packaged his hit films with loser films in licensing deals so as to allocate the licesning fees across all the films in the package and therein not have to pay him what he was due. (You can read more of this at the Hollywood Reporter story on his win.)
Want to know some other losers?
- Rain Man ($354 million just in boxoffice release world-wide)
- Forrest Gump ($677 million just in boxoffice release world-wide)
- Who Framed Roger Rabbit ($330 million just in boxoffice release world-wide)
- Batman ($412 million just in boxoffice release world-wide)
Keep in mind those numbers are just for the times it was in the theater collecting box office money, it doesn’t include the kabillions these films have made on video, DVD, broadcast rights, licensing fees, etc. I’m guessing you could probably very safely double each of those numbers for that total.
No matter how many times you look at a story like this you can’t believe it but in Hollywood even the dreams of greedy executives come true I guess.
I’ll have a couple of other Hollywood Accounting horror stories to share soon!