Otani sues Matsukata

Aaron Gerow gerow
Thu Nov 9 21:40:29 EST 2000

The Otani-ha of Shingon Buddhism, which contracted with actor Matsukata 
Hiroki's Matsukata Productions to produce the animated film _Rennyo 
monogatari_ (1998), has sued that production company for failing to pay 
half of the proceeds as per the contract.  According to the Otani-ha's 
calculations, the film made 660 million yen in ticket sales, and totalled 
520 million in costs, so therefore the Otani-ha should receive 73 million 
of the 140 million in profit.

The article I read did not give any specifics on how Toei, which released 
the film, and its theaters figured in all this (usually theaters take in 
half of the total gross and the distributor half of what is remaining, 
but those figures can vary), but in the least the lawsuit may prove to be 
important given how fuzzy many of the numbers in the Japanese film 
industry can be.  Given how some places still don't make out contracts, 
and how others do not use modern accounting methods, there have long been 
charges that theaters, distributors, or even production companies are 
fooling with the figures and cheating business partners.  It will be 
interesting to see how this turns out.

Aaron Gerow
Yokohama National University
KineJapan list owner
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