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16 items from 2017


Judge Orders Netflix to Pay Relativity $800K in Attorney’s Fees

22 March 2017 6:33 PM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

A bankruptcy judge ordered Netflix to pay more than $800,000 in attorney’s fees to Ryan Kavanaugh’s embattled studio Relativity Media after a legal battle the studio fought with the streaming giant over much of the past year relating to the latter’s plan to stream Relativity films “Masterminds” and “The Disappointments Room” without waiting for their theatrical release. U.S. bankruptcy judge Michael Wiles ruled that Netflix was obligated to pay Relativity a total of $818,547.48, consisting of $795,732.50 in reasonable attorneys’ fees and $22,814.98 in litigation expenses. However, the judge did not order the streaming giant to pay for fees and. »

- Matt Pressberg

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Relativity Scores Rare Legal Win As Netflix Ordered To Pay Lawyer Fees

22 March 2017 6:31 PM, PDT | Deadline | See recent Deadline news »

Ryan Kavanaugh hasn’t come out with any more dough in his pocket, but Relativity gained a bit of financial traction today in the company’s ongoing skirmish with Netflix. A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge Wednesday ordered the streaming service to pay more than $800,000 in legal fees and expenses to the embattled film studio. "The Court holds that Relativity is entitled to an award of attorneys' fees and expenses as to Relativity's own counsel, but that Mr. Kavanaugh and… »

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Netflix Ordered to Pay Relativity More Than $800,000 in Attorney's Fees

22 March 2017 4:17 PM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Netflix has been ordered by a federal judge to pay Relativity more than $800,000 in attorney’s fees and expenses in the wake of the legal battle that Ryan Kavanaugh’s embattled company waged with the streaming service throughout most of the past year.

Michael Wiles, the U.S. bankruptcy judge who oversaw Relativity’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year, ordered Netflix to pay $795,733 in attorney’s fees and another $22,815 in litigation expenses to Relativity, which was represented by the firm of Jones Day, but he didn’t award any fees or expenses to Kavanaugh, who was personally represented by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher »

- Gregg Kilday

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Netflix Sees $1.5B Lawsuit From Relativity Slimmed Down By Judge

27 February 2017 4:02 PM, PST | Deadline | See recent Deadline news »

Netflix didn't quite get the $1.5 billion lawsuit from the struggling Relativity tossed out as it desired but the streaming service certainly saw the matter slimmed down late last week. In a February 24 hearing, Santa Clara County Judge Theodore Zayner cut the Ryan Kavanaugh founded company’s claims that the consequences of Netflix's actions in a dispute over the streaming of two movies amounted to "trade libel" and a breach of the covenant of good faith. "While… »

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Relativity Creditor Asks Court to Liquidate Struggling Studio’s Assets

8 February 2017 5:22 PM, PST | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

One of Relativity Media’s major creditors filed a motion in New York bankruptcy court requesting that Relativity Media’s bankruptcy proceedings be converted from Chapter 11 to Chapter 7, which would pave the way for a liquidation of the studio’s assets. According to the complaint filed by Relativity Secured Lender, an entity controlled by Chicago investor Joseph Nicholas, and Jgj Equity Holdings, Ryan Kavanaugh’s independent studio has not lived up to its end of the deal it struck last year as part of its bankruptcy proceedings. Relativity emerged from Chapter 11 last year with a court-approved reorganization plan, but the company has failed to. »

- Matt Pressberg

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Relativity Media’s One-Time Partner Pushes for Liquidation of Failing Company (Exclusive)

8 February 2017 3:46 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Updated: Struggling Relativity Media should be forced into a Chapter 7 liquidation, one of the struggling media company’s many creditors demanded in a filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York Wednesday, according to documents provided by one of the lawyers in the case.

The motion comes from Relativity Secured Lender, an entity used by Chicago investor Joseph Nicholas to become one of Ryan Kavanaugh’s last partners, as the Relativity Media founder fought to resurrect his company after filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July of 2015.

While the filing does not name Nicholas, it was made on behalf of Relativity Secured Lender, which has previously been identified in court papers as the vehicle Nicholas used to invest in Kavanaugh’s company, which once had ambitions of competing with Hollywood’s big studios. The filing says “Rsl is an undersecured creditor owed over $35 million.”

Relativity did not immediately respond to a request for comment. »

- James Rainey

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Steve Mnuchin Accused of Fraud in New $110 Million Relativity Media Suit

3 February 2017 5:13 PM, PST | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Donald Trump’s Treasury Secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin has been named in a fraud lawsuit by financing company Rka Film Financing, stemming from his days as a board member of the now-defunct Relativity Media. The company, which has a long and contentious legal history with former Relativity CEO Ryan Kavanaugh, filed an updated claim on Thursday about the “repeated misrepresentations about an illusory investment opportunity” in the studio behind films like Henry Cavill’s “Immortals” and the recent Zach Galifianakis comedy “Masterminds.” In a claim filed in New York State Supreme Court, Rka said that Relativity borrowed money for P&A — prints, »

- Matt Donnelly

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Steve Mnuchin Faces Fraud Claim Related to Relativity Media

3 February 2017 3:05 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Steve Mnuchin may be headed for U.S. Senate approval as America’s next treasury secretary, but he’s getting a big thumbs down from a film lending company that alleges in a lawsuit that the Wall Street and Hollywood financier helped cheat it out of more than $80 million.

In a legal filing late Thursday, Rka Film Financing accused Mnuchin and eight others of allowing money intended to release films from Relativity Media to be misspent for other purposes. Some $50 million of the misspent money went to a bank that the treasury secretary-designate founded, the lawsuit contends.

Mnuchin served as co-chairman of the financially-struggling, Beverly Hills-based Relativity at the same time he was chairman and CEO of Pasadena-based OneWest Bank. The lawsuit by Rka Film Financing alleges a suspicious chain of events in which Mnuchin and the other defendants purportedly allowed millions of dollars to be directed away from film promotion, »

- James Rainey

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Relativity Media Facing Eviction From Beverly Hills Offices

27 January 2017 10:14 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The long downward spiral of Relativity Media has taken another turn, with the company’s landlord going to court to evict the failing entertainment concern from its Beverly Hills offices.

An unlawful detainer action filed this month in Superior Court in Santa Monica says Ryan Kavanaugh’s company owes $437,452 in back rent and other charges for its third-floor space at 9242 Beverly Boulevard. The property’s owner, Beverly Place L.P., claims that additional charges of $4,589.21 per day have been piling up since Dec. 30.

The partnership that owns the offices — which sit atop a first-floor Mercedes Benz dealership — says Relativity needs to pay up and get out immediately. Beverly place demands “restitution and possession of the premises” along with “forfeiture of the lease,” and the overdue payments.

Related

Senator Seeks FBI Information on Steven Mnuchin’s Ties to Relativity Media

Relativity did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Variety »

- James Rainey

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Senator Seeks FBI Information on Steven Mnuchin’s Ties to Relativity Media

18 January 2017 5:39 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), the ranking member of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, is asking FBI director James Comey for information on Relativity Media and its ties to Steven Mnuchin, the movie financier and banking executive who is President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of the treasury.

In a press release, Brown referred to an FBI investigation into Relativity, noting that when nonprofit watchdog group MuckRock first sought answers to questions about Mnuchin and the film company, the Freedom of Information Act request was denied. According to Brown, the FBI cited concerns that the disclosure of such information would “interfere with enforcement proceedings.”

Mnuchin was a member of Relativity’s board and once served as its co-chairman. He stayed in that post for seven months, departing two months before Relativity declared bankruptcy in July, 2015. Variety‘s James Rainey reported that just weeks before the bankruptcy filing, »

- Ted Johnson

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Ryan Kavanaugh ‘Shocked at Audacity’ of New Lawsuit, Denies Relativity Invested in Porn

11 January 2017 7:32 PM, PST | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Relativity Media founder Ryan Kavanaugh has been sued for fraud and neglect by his former studio president Adam Fields — charges he adamantly denies, TheWrap has learned. Dismissed from the company last September, Fields has accused Kavanaugh of misrepresenting finances, inventing a purpose to fire him after luring Dana Brunetti to run his production company and even entertain adult movie stars at their Beverly Hills offices, according to the Wednesday complaint.  “Clearly he picked the wrong profession as, with his imagination, he should be writing fiction. We are shocked at the audacity of Mr. Fields. Clearly he will say and do anything, »

- Matt Donnelly

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Adam Fields Sues, Says Ryan Kavanaugh Fraudently Lured Him to Relativity

11 January 2017 7:13 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Adam Fields claims that Ryan Kavanaugh fraudulently induced him to take a job as co-president of Relativity Media, in a lawsuit that charges the industry veteran was lied to, ostracized and even physically threatened during his short tenure at the crippled film company.

Fields’ suit against Kavanaugh charges that Relativity “operated closer to the cantina scene in Star Wars than a normal production company,” and that Kavanaugh “grossly exaggerated and misrepresented Relativity’s financial outlook and its ability to produce films.”

The company emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy last April, but has struggled to raise capital and to produce or release films. Mostly employees were furloughed over the holidays and not brought back after the New Year. Kavanaugh and Dana Brunetti, who he hired to oversee the film operation, have both reportedly stepped away from their executive positions at the Beverly Hills-based company.

Related

Could the End Be Near for Beleaguered Relativity Media? »

- James Rainey

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Ryan Kavanaugh Hit With Fraud Suit By Ex-Relativity President; Says CEO Has Resigned, Porn Shoots In Office

11 January 2017 4:39 PM, PST | Deadline | See recent Deadline news »

(Updated with statement from Dana Brunetti) Exclusive: As Relativity teeters on the brink of returning to bankruptcy again, the studio’s former president Adam Fields today slapped company founder Ryan Kavanaugh with a potential multi-million dollar fraud lawsuit. The jury seeking complaint states that Fields “is but the latest in a very long line of complainants that have been duped and defrauded by Defendant Ryan Kavanaugh” and also states that the Relativity CEO has… »

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Could the End Be Near for Beleaguered Relativity Media?

11 January 2017 3:00 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Relativity Media employees cite various moments when, for them, the entertainment company reached rock bottom. Some people point to the days when movie release dates came and went, unfulfilled. For others, it was the bankruptcy filing in July 2015. The departure of key employees — notably the October resignation of president Tucker Tooley — cut others to the core.

But a few note, as an unsettling new low, the arrival at corporate headquarters of yet another media offshoot: the raunchy, flesh-fixated website Egotastic. To them, the proximity of the online T&A emporium was the surest sign that Relativity would never be resurrected as a mainstream entertainment concern.

Beginning in mid-2016, Egotastic set up housekeeping alongside regular Relativity employees. According to witnesses, on at least a few occasions, photographers and scantily clad models would traipse through the office. Some employees found it embarrassing that the site, featuring unvarnished discussion of the anatomies of multiple actresses, »

- James Rainey

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Relativity Media Extends Furlough; Down to Handful of Employees, Sources Say

4 January 2017 4:53 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Relativity Media’s fade out continued this week, as the bulk of the company’s employees were told that an unpaid furlough that began over the two-week winter holiday will continue indefinitely, according to two people familiar with the operation.

Only a handful of workers remain at the entertainment firm that had already pared its staff to less than 30, those sources said. Relativity once aspired to be a “360-degree global media platform” that could compete with Hollywood’s big studios.

The news comes in the wake of other signs of Relativity’s decline, eight months after its bankruptcy reorganization; CEO Ryan Kavanaugh and President Dana Brunetti signaled just before the holidays that they would step down from daily duties. And, this week, the company laid off roughly 40 workers who staffed its joint distribution operation with EuropaCorp.

There is wide speculation in Hollywood that Relativity will cease operating either by liquidating »

- James Rainey

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Ten industry storylines set to dominate 2017

31 December 2016 11:06 PM, PST | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

From China to Brexit, Screen gazes into its crystal ball…1. China

Odeon Holloway Road

From spectacular deal-making to expanding quotas, fluctuating box office to industry delegations, China was the biggest industry talking point of 2016.

The world’s most populated country now boasts more cinema screens than the Us (as of November) and is set to become the world’s largest box office territory by 2018.

Thanks to a number of eye-watering deals, Dalian Wanda – which in 2016 acquired Legendary Entertainment for a reported $3.5bn and Odeon & Uci Cinema Group for $1.2bn – now operates 8.1% of world cinema screens, representing 15% of total global box office.

The deals and opportunities look set to continue in 2017 with the evolution of quotas for Us blockbusters and more opportunities for arthouse films and the weekly emergence of notable media players. But will Us lawmakers flinch in the face of voracious domestic acquisition and will China’s box office growth hit a significant speed bump?

2. Indie »

- andreas.wiseman@screendaily.com (Andreas Wiseman)

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2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005

16 items from 2017


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