Producers sue Zoetrope


Producers of the 2000 film "The Virgin Suicides" have filed a breach of contract lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against Francis Ford Coppola Inc. and American Zoetrope. They claim they're owed at least $500,000 in profits from the film.

Muse Entertainment optioned the movie rights to the Jeffrey Eugenides novel in 1995 and brought it to Coppola's company in 1997. The movie marked the feature-length directorial debut for Sofia Coppola, who also adapted the screenplay.

According to the lawsuit, Muse's deal in assigning the rights to the book to American Zoetrope included giving producer credits to the production company's Chris Hanley and Dan Halsted as well as producer fees and a percentage of the revenue.

But Muse claims that the defendants breached that agreement in the last four years and "have received sums of money far in excess of the costs of production of the picture, a portion of which is due and owing to Muse."

American Zoetrope's general counsel could not be reached for comment.

The film grossed $4.9 million in the U.S. and $10.4 million worldwide.