Wild Oats, starring Demi Moore, Jessica Lange and Shirley MacLaine, may have been in 100 theaters this past year, but Sony Pictures is justifying a failure to pay a $950,000 license fee by alleging that the producer breached contract by having the film debut on Lifetime Television.
The film about a woman who accidentally receives a Social Security check for a million dollars is itself the subject of a million-dollar fight. In February, Bahamas-based financier Impex Enterprises sued in California federal court over what Sony allegedly owes.
In turn, Sony has now filed a third party complaint against Wild Pictures LLC.
According to Sony, the license fee was conditioned on a "qualifying U.S. theatrical release," which it says means "that the first public exhibition of the Picture (other than private recruited previews, test and press screenings and screenings for marketing and/or promotional purposes) would be its theatrical release on at least 100 screens in the top markets in the United States."
Sony contends that an August 22 showing of the film on Lifetime means that film didn't meet the theatrical exhibition requirement regardless of what happened afterwards. Sony, represented by attorney Adam Pines at Glaser Weil, also asserts that if it is liable, then Wild Pictures should have to pay damages because it's the producers responsibility.
Wild Oats made just over $40,000 in domestic gross upon its release.