Disney Sued by Richard Dreyfuss Over ‘What About Bob’ Profit Participants and Auditors

More than two decades after ‘What About Bob’ came out, Richard Dreyfuss is taking Disney to court over what monies may be owed after accountants refused to take a look at Disney’s books to see what may be owed. Dreyfuss has sued Walt Disney Pictures for breach of contract and additional claims after Disney allegedly refused to let Robinson & Company perform an audit for Dreyfuss and the widow of Raymond Wagner, producer of Turner & Hooch.


Why will Disney not allow auditors to review the ledgers related to Turner & Hooch and What About Bob? According to news reports, Robinson & Company is a particularly aggressive and effective auditor who typically recovers large damages for clients, according to a recent article at Deadline Hollywood. The filing, which includes seven filings made by Dreyfuss, claims that Disney is hostile regarding audits in general, and will not allow Robinson & Company, the auditor chosen by Dreyfuss, to audit the film giants’ ledgers; therefore, accounting under the supervision of the court is warranted. According to Dreyfuss, Wagner, and other plaintiffs in the case, Disney does not understand the intricacies involved in Hollywood accounting and only wants to use PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte, KPMG, or Ernst & Young, the largest and most well-known accounting firms in the nation.


The filing claims that historically, motions picture companies abhor having to pay net and gross profit participants significant amounts, and have withheld substantial profits from those participants. Auditing companies who audit the entertainment industry including television and motion picture industries often fine that profit participants are owed monies, which is the reason for profit participation auditors.


Although there is reportedly a three year waiting list to perform an audit on Disney properties, Dreyfuss has apparently decided that he is a large enough talent to attempt to collect what is rightfully his in terms of profits. According to news reports, Turner & Hooch generated $72 million in revenue in the U.S., with What About Bob? generating $64 million in revenues in the U.S. and Canada since its release in May of 1991. In addition to movie theater revenues, international sales and home videos are thought to add up to a substantial amount for the two films in one way or another.


In the end, Dreyfuss and Wagner believe they have an opportunity to explore issues including how net profits are calculated by raising the issues of auditors. The complaint claims that the ‘Big Four’ accounting firms named above have no competence or reputation relevant to auditing such big names as Disney; Robinson, the auditing firm hired by Dreyfuss, is reported to be results-driven, tenacious, and tough.


As reputable LA entertainment attorneys, the staff at Spotora & Associates realize there are many complexities involved when it comes to profit participants and the entertainment world. Auditing is one small nuance of the overall picture, however when you have issues regarding whether monies are being paid out fairly, it is important to choose a Los Angeles business lawyer who is highly experienced and capable in these matters.



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This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 14th, 2015 at 12:11 am and is filed under Business & Corporate Law, Contract Law, Entertainment Law, Litigation, Tort Law. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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