It’s been a quarter-century since the first of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles trilogy hit theaters, but the folks behind the films still are seeking money from them. Producers Kim Dawson and Gary Propper, director Steve Barron, writers Bobby Herbeck and Todd Langen and an heir to producer Graham Cottle won a $400,000-plus judgment against rights holder Fortune Star this week, but they haven’t seen any of that loot yet. So now the six are going after Warner Bros, which distributed 1990’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and its 1991 and 1993 sequels.
In a 16-page filing today in Los Angeles Superior Court (read it here), the plaintiffs say “each of them was and is entitled to share in a percentage of the profits earned from one or more of the Pictures through their international as well as domestic exploration,” and because Fortune Star hasn’t paid up to the tune of $417, 235 won in summary judgment, the studio is on the hook for it. “Defendant Warner Bros possesses certain rights and obligations to domestic distribution of the Pictures,” the suit says. “Those obligations include the responsibility to account to and pay Fortune Star monies resulting from rights it acquired. … WB presently possesses funds that it is otherwise obligated to pay to Fortune Star as Fortune Star’s share of profits from domestic exploitation of the Pictures, and in particular from TNMT I.
Ergo, the plaintiffs say, Warners should kick that cash directly to them.
Attorneys Jay Shanker of McAfee & Taft in Oklahoma City and Gary Goodstein and Bruce Berman of L.A.’s Goodstein & Berman LLP represent the plaintiffs in the case. Read details of the original lawsuit here.