For many fans, the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie released in 1990 represents the pinnacle of shell kicking action on film. To this day, it is still one of the most successful films in the franchise, having earned roughly ten times its budget in theaters. Unfortunately, with the film still being sold in a variety of places, some of the people who worked to make this film a reality are wondering why they haven’t gotten their cut of the profits.
All told, two producers, two writers and the family of the director of the original TMNT movie are suing the rights holder of the film for millions of dollars. All of them apparently had contracts which stipulated that they would see a certain percentage of the profits that the film would make, but in recent years they have not seen any of that money. Although some may see this as a cash grab, it’s important to understand that these filmmakers were integral to the creation of the first film, and they definitely deserve to be paid for their efforts.
The problem seems to stem from the rights holders themselves, who are apparently being given money by Warner Bros. to pay the filmmakers what they are owed, but are instead pocketing the money themselves – or at least that is what this lawsuit purports to be the case. Sadly, this type of issue happens far too frequently in the film industry, and the reasons for it can be varied. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of a studio trying to pocket as much of the earnings as possible, and other times it’s just a complete miscommunication.
Whatever the issue may be, it is our sincerest hope that these deserving filmmakers get the credit and the profits that they are due. Unfortunately, the rights to the film have passed through so many different hands over the years that it may be more than a little difficult to dig through all of the paperwork needed for the case. Here’s hoping that the creators behind perhaps the greatest live action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies we’ve ever seen will come out on top!