Lionsgate Asks Court to ‘Reconsider’ Dish/Blockbuster Sale29 Apr, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Minimajor seeking unpaid rev-share monies
Lionsgate has filed a motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York asking the judge to “reconsider” the $320 million acquisition of Blockbuster by Dish Network due to outstanding revenue-sharing agreements.
In the April 28 filing, Santa Monica, Calif.-based Lionsgate said it was contesting the April 14 motion approving the asset sale, and subsequent April 26 amended asset sale approval, after notification by Dish April 22 that the satellite TV operator did not intend to honor outstanding rev-share agreements going forward.
Indeed, in the April 26 amended sale approval, Dish said it would pay 75% of the monies owed to the major studios, including Summit Entertainment. Lionsgate was not included among the studios.
Lionsgate’s agreement with Blockbuster mandated revenue payment up to 26 weeks after a title shipped. Blockbuster had the right to continue renting and/or sell or destroy the discs (with box office earnings more than $15 million) thereafter. The minimajor contends it owns the discs until the 26-week deadline, with Blockbuster (now Dish) acting as lessee.
Dish says it acquired the titles outright in the sale.
“Where the leasehold period had not expired, such [discs] remained the property of Lionsgate for the balance of their respective leasehold periods,” read Lionsgate's motion.
The studio said it has repeatedly submitted its concerns in writing to the court to little avail.
“[Its] objection appears to have been overlooked by both [Blockbuster] and this court and, therefore, was never adjudicated,” the motion reads. “[Lionsgate], therefore, is entitled to reconsideration of, and a determination of its rights … with respect to the sale of assets to Dish.”
DVD and Blu-ray releases (since Oct. 25, 2010) in question include: The Way Home, Winter's Bone, Locked Down, Amor Dolor y Viceversa, The Expendables, Madea’s Big Happy Family, The Winning Season, Frenemy, The Heavy, Legendary Assassin, The Lena Baker Story, The Last Exorcism, Alpha & Omega, Buried, Triggerman, Saw: The Final Chapter, H1N1-Virus X, For Colored Girls, The Gunslingers, Crimenes de Lujuria, Shaun the Sheep: Spring Shenanigans, “Weeds,” Psych 9, Sword of War and “Nurse Jackie.”