8:07pm PT by Matthew Belloni
Michael Moore, Harvey Weinstein Settle 'Fahrenheit 9/11' Lawsuit
Filmmaker Michael Moore has settled his multi-million dollar legal battle with Harvey and Bob Weinstein over profits from the mega-grossing documentary Fahrenheit 9/11.
The settlement was revealed in court documents filed in Los Angeles Superior Court. Terms were not disclosed. According to the court filing, the deal between the flame-throwing filmmaker and the hard-charging movie executives requires that the settlement not become official until May. Requests for comment sent to the Weinstein Co. and Moore's attorneys were not immediately returned.
Update: The Weinstein Co. issued a statement on the settlement: "Bob and Harvey Weinstein’s Fellowship Adventure Group and Michael Moore have amicably settled the lawsuit involving an accounting dispute on Fahrenheit 9/11, and they look forward to the prospect of working together on future projects."
As you'll recall, Moore sued the Weinsteins last February claiming the brothers and an affiliated entity called Fellowship Adventure Group agreed to split profits from the film 50-50 but then diverted at least $2.7 million in profits from the documentary to avoid paying him.
Moore claimed he conducted an audit of the 2004 film, which grossed $222 million worldwide, and “discovered substantial irregularities in the accounting” that resulted in a “gross underpayment to [Moore],” the lawsuit alleged. Those alleged irregularities included a secret deduction of $2.5 million in revenue that the Weinstiens claimed was paid to acquire an interest owned in the film by a predecessor company called Icon Entertainment International; a 7.5% “override” fee on advertising costs in the amount of $1.2 million, “despite the fact that [the Weinsteins] did not incur the advertising costs and the [deal] did not permit [them] to deduct these costs”; as well as additional improper deductions of fees paid to distribution consultants, accountants, residuals, foreign taxes and travel expenses, including what Moore says are the “grossly excessive and unreasonable” costs of hiring a private jet to carry a single passenger to Europe.
At the time, Weinstein lawyer Bert Fields dismissed the claims, saying "Mr. Moore has received a huge amount of money from this film and we believe he is overreaching. He should be ashamed of himself”
A trial date of March 28 was set but the settlement will vacate the trial.
The Weinsteins have been in a lawsuit-settling mood lately. TWC's legal beef with Relativity over a planned remake of The Crow was settled earlier this month.