The author and publishers of the novel on which The Reader is based have sued The Weinstein Company in a dispute over profit participation on the Academy Award-nominated movie. Plaintiffs Diogenes Verlag, Selb Limited and author Bernard Schlink contend that they are contractually entitled to 2.5%-5% of gross receipts, but claim they have received only one profit participation statement from TWC that says no monies are due.
Plaintiffs allege the compensation report contains misstatements of facts regarding production and distribution of The Reader. Allegations include under-reporting of U.S. theatrical and foreign receipts, U.S. home video receipts and television distribution. The suit also alleges overstatement of production costs of which $10 million were subsidized by the German government, overstatement of distribution fees as well as overstatement of costs of advertising, marketing, publicity, promotion and of the negative cost of the film. Additionally the suit claims that the overstatements include amounts for costs the The Weinstein Company did not incur including interest and overstatement of gross participations paid.
Specifically the charges include breach of contract, fraudulent concealment, money had and received, breach of implied contract and accounting. Plaintiffs seek $1 million or more in consequential damages, a complete, up to date and correct accounting of monies due plus 10% interest from the dates any sums were due, punitive damages and court costs.