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Friday, July 02, 2004 3:46 PM
Another Odd Twist for Fahrenheit 9/11
Kevin Salwen on Culture

The side stories around Michael Moore's 'Fahrenheit 9/11' get curiouser and curiouser. Say what you want about the filmmaker (I'm not a fan -- I don't like people of any political persuasion yelling at me) or the message, but the surrounding hype, marketing, defensiveness are fascinating. The news today took the goofiness to a new level. It turns out -- according to a great piece by Bruce Orwall in The Wall Street Journal -- that 60% of the movie's net profits will be donated to charity. But wait: Those charities will be selected not by Moore or by Miramax founders Harvey and Bob Weinstein, but instead by corporate giant Disney -- the very same corporation that refused to distribute the film and forced the Weinsteins to take 'F9/11' elsewhere!

The odd deal comes from the ongoing 'stern parent/naughty child' relationship (the WSJ's words) between Disney and the Weinsteins; seems the company was only willing to let the movie go if the Weinsteins agreed to let Disney have its usual 60% of the net profit to designate to charity. (Note, net profit, in Hollywood's nutty math is after the Weinsteins, Moore, the other distributors, the theaters, several hundred limo drivers, a few thousand hairdressers and others get their cuts.)

Who will get the tens of millions of dollars that Disney will be sending to charity? Disney wasn't saying. But the entertainment continues...


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Kevin - 7/7/2004 11:30:18 AM
Tom, your comment is right on the money -- Hollywood's math makes the federal government look sane by comparison. And truth be told, one of my life goals is to in your words 'stay away from doing business with Hollywood types.' :-)
Tom Justin - 7/6/2004 4:58:47 PM
If you think that after the studio accountants finish with their job on Fahrenheit 9/11 there will be â?œtens of millions of dollars,â?? you need to stay away from doing business with Hollywood types, at least on contracts with net participation deals.

For example, the Tom Cruise, Dustin Hoffman hit, 'Rain Man,' to date, has grossed over $228 million. It cost $46 million to produce. It is still not showing net profits! You can bet that the studios have made plenty along with anyone with enough power to get a gross participation deal. Of course, only in â?œHollywoodâ?? can the definition of gross take up multiple pages.


Tom Justin


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