December 27, 2019
It’s wild to think a movie like Men in Black, that spawned a franchise could still claim it has made no money. But creative accounting has rendered it so.
Movie accounting is famously fickle and shady. When your agent or lawyer negotiates for the back end of a movie, there’s little chance you’ll ever see it even if that movie is a massive hit. The reason is that accounts use lots of convenient math to make it look like their films are not a hit.
This allows studios to avoid paying residuals and take tax write-offs for depreciating assets.
Recently, writer Ed Solomon took to Twitter to talk about how in the 22 years and four franchise films since the original Men in Black, Sony still claims that film is in the red.
This is a crazy statement, but it indicates the guarded truth about working on big-budget movies.
It’s not just Men in Black; other filmmakers chimed in with similar stories.