Michael Moore is suing Bob and Harvey Weinstein, claiming he’s owed nearly three million dollars for his film Fahrenheit 9/11.
The documentary filmmaker says the brothers have used creative accounting to keep Moore from receiving more than 2.7 million dollars for the 2004 documentary.
Fahrenheit 9/11, which centred on the Bush White House’s actions after the September 11 attacks, grossed more than 100 million dollars – a blockbuster by documentary film standards.
Moore claims his agreement with the Weinsteins to distribute the picture called for him to receive half the film’s profits, but that audits performed since 2008 have turned up several irregularities.
The lawsuit states Moore’s payments have been reduced by advertising, consulting, taxes and for travel described as “grossly excessive and unreasonable”.
Disputes over how studios handle accounting for major movies is nothing new, with lawsuits filed over the profits of The Lord Of The Rings trilogy and Mel Gibson’s The Passion Of The Christ. Both cases were eventually resolved out of court.
Attempts to reach the Weinsteins for comment through their firm, The Weinstein Co., were unsuccessful.
The brothers have been responsible for bringing several hits to audiences, including Pulp Fiction and Chicago during their tenure at Miramax, which they founded in 1979. They later sold the company to The Walt Disney Co. but stayed there as managers, although they left over disputes about Fahrenheit 9/11.