This is sad. The producers of Napoleon Dynamite are claiming that Fox Searchlight breached their contract and underreported royalties. The producers are suing Fox Searchlight for $10M in restitution (??!!!)
It’s not easy being an independent filmmaker and getting your off-beat comedy picked up and having it be a critical and financial success is no small feat. The fact that Fox Searchlight is trying to screw the indie producers out of their 31.66 percent in profits is just wrong. A lot of times it feels like newbie producers are in a David and Goliath type struggle with production companies and they only get what’s owed to them after demanding it, or suing them.
I try not to be too cynical, but whatever the outcome I hope that the production company and director Jared Hess are properly compensated.
As journalist Brian Salisbury said, “…what really gets my goat about this situation is that it can create an air of distrust between independent filmmakers and distribution companies that can inhibit certain films from getting the wider audience they deserve.”
Until then, you gotta keep on dancing…