Legal Battle Ensues Over Global Sales of Russian Animation Franchise 'Kikoriki'


Art Pictures sues Riki over lost profits from foreign sales handled by Odin's Eye Entertainment.

Russian film company Art Pictures has filed a lawsuit against Riki, its production partner in a feature-length animated film based on the Kikoriki franchise, over alleged lost profits from international sales.

The lawsuit was filed with the St. Petersburg arbitration court and is registered in its database.

Riki and Art Pictures co-produced Smeshariki. The Legend of the Golden Dragon, a second feature in Riki's animation franchise known locally as Smeshariki and distributed in the English-speaking world as Kikoriki.

Art Pictures claims that Odin’s Eye Entertainment, which handled international sales of the film, didn't pay anything to the Russian producers because of a delay in supplying materials, Russian business daily Vedomosti reported.

However, Riki dismissed the accusations. "Riki believes that Art Pictures' demands are ungrounded," a spokesperson for Riki told The Hollywood Reporter. "The situation, which led to the lawsuit, arose from the film's international sales agent's failure to properly observe its obligations."

Art Pictures insists that Riki was responsible for the delay and demands from its former partner 126.8 million rubles ($2 million) in lost profits.

Odin’s Eye Entertainment didn't reply to THR's request for comment and information on international sales of the film.

Released in 2016, The Legend of the Golden Dragon grossed 261.9 million rubles ($4.5 million) in Russia.