There’s still more legal and financial trouble in the offing for David Bergstein and his ThinkFilm and Capitol Film production and distribution empire. I’ve learned that producer David Permut’s Permut Productions and comedian Bob Saget’s Two Angels Inc are filing a lawsuit in Los Angeles today against Bergstein and his two movie companies over their spoof of March Of The Penguins called Farce Of The Penguins. The direct-to-DVD raunchy comedy made for a mere $1 million pre-sold its foreign rights and scored a Showtime deal. Insiders tell me that Farce was almost “pure profit” — especially after the filmmakers used stock footage of penguins (when Warner Bros and the original French March filmmakers didn’t want Permut and Saget to “fuck with their penguins”), and after Permut and Saget waived 100% of their fees to be gross participants (15%) in the film. But the pair say they haven’t been given the agreed-upon quarterly accountings duribng the first 3 years of the movie’s proceeds except for one “producer report”. And they now believe that Bergstein’s firms have received “several million dollars in gross receipts”. Instead, they’ve been met with “Radio silence. Nothing. We had our people ask for the money, and there’s no response. It falls on deaf ears,” one insider tells me. “One doesn’t go down this path unless there is no other option.”
According to the complaint for fraud and accounting, and intentional tort interference with a contractual relationship, “David Bergstein as the Chairman of Capitol Films acquired defendant ThinkFilm LLC causing it to bcome a subsidiary of Capitol Films. At that time, Bergstein and Capitol Films in acquiring Think decided that it would not pay plaintiff’s their contractual entitled compensaton, directly interfering with plaintiff’s contractual/legal rights despite the gross receipts from the picture being received by defendants… Defendants fraudulently induced plaintiffs to produce the Picture, having no intention og accounting to plaintiffs and/or paying them their 15% of gross receipts. When David Bergstein took over as Capiol Films acquired ThinkFilm LLC, they intentionally, with malicious intent, refused to account to and pay plaintiffs, instead receiving revenues from the Picture and appropriating it to defendant’s own use.” The lawsuit further alleges that “defendants have a long history of refusing to provide acountings and payments repeatedly failing to pay ‘lender/producers’ such as plaintiffs, which at the time was unknown to plaintiffs.”
I’ve reported extensively (see below) on Bergstein’s legal and financial problems wth Capitol Films and ThinkFilms to the point where I couldn’t imagine why anyone would do business with his firms because of all the financing turmoil. But Permut’s and Saget’s problems pre-dated all the recent chaos including the stopping and shuttering of many indie films underwritten by Bergstein’s companies. Last May, a lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court by Boston-based Allied Advertising Ltd alleging breach of contract, fraud and deceit, and unfair business practices against David Bergstein and his ThinkFilm movie distribution company. It seeks more than $4.1 million in unpaid bills and contracts, plus damages, interest and penalties.
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- Capitol Films Cash Crunch: SAG Demands Meeting With Owner David Bergstein
- David O. Russell Film Shut Down 3rd Time
- Jake & Jessica Sidelined Again: IATSE Shuts Down David O. Russell Film
- IS THIS A MELTDOWN? More Big Actors And Directors Caught In Capitol Crunch
- 5TH UPDATE: ‘Nailed’ Tip Of The Iceberg: Capitol’s Money Woes On More Films
- 4TH UPDATE: ‘Nailed’ Production Resumed; More Capitol Films Suffered
- 3RD UPDATE: David O. Russell Film Drama
- 2ND UPDATE: SAG Shuts Down Russell Film; Jessica & Jake Stand By
- EXCLUSIVE: David O. Russell Film Drama! Jessica Biel & Jake Gyllenhaal Sidelined
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