EMMA STONE IN “BAT­TLE OF THE SEXES”

Riverbank News - - ENTERTAINMENT - By Tony Rizzo

Hol­ly­wood movie stu­dios have done “cre­ative book­keep­ing” for years. Most stars have profit-shar­ing in their con­tracts, but don’t see much of the prof­its. James Garner sued Univer­sal Stu­dios for $65 mil­lion, his share from “The Rock­ford Files.” He was of­fered $6 mil­lion and turned it down. The stu­dio, afraid of open­ing its books to the court, upped its bid to $16 mil­lion, which Garner ac­cepted. There­after, Jack Klug­man sued over “Quincy” and set­tled (out of court) for mil­lions. Don John­son sued Rysher En­ter­tain­ment for $52 mil­lion for “Nash Bridges” and won $19 mil­lion.

Now AMC, net­work of “The Walk­ing Dead,” for seven sea­sons, is un­der fire. For­mer ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer and co-cre­ator Frank Darabont is su­ing AMC for $280 mil­lion. In ad­di­tion, Robert Kirk­man, whose comic book the show is based on, and pro­duc­ers Anne Hurd and Glen Maz­zara are su­ing, say­ing they’ve been “mas­sively cheated.”

***

Emma Stone, just 28, grabbed the No. 1 spot on Forbes list of top-gross­ing actresses of 2017. Win­ning the Os­car last year for “La La Land” raised her price, and the two films she’s done this year -- “The Bat­tle of the Sexes,” as ten­nis great Billy Jean King to Steve Carell’s Bobby Riggs, due Sept. 22; and the Ir­ish-Amer­i­can bio film “The Favourite,” with Rachel Weisz and Ni­cholas Hoult -- earned her $26 mil­lion.

For­mer “Friend” Jen­nifer Anis­ton took sec­ond thanks to her com­mer­cial en­dorse­ments of Emi­rates air­lines, Smart­wa­ter and Aveeno, her up­com­ing film “Dumplin” and the se­ries she and Reece Wither­spoon are pro­duc­ing and star­ring in as hosts of a New York morn­ing talk show (Hoda and Kathie Lee, is that you?), earn­ing $25.5 mil­lion. Jen­nifer Lawrence, slipped to third but has “Mother!,” di­rected by her cur­rent man, Dar­ren Aronof­sky, with Javier Bar­dem, Ed Har­ris and Michele Pfeif­fer; the spy thriller “Red Spar­row,” with Mary-Louise Parker, Joel Edger­ton, Jeremy Irons and Joely Richard­son, com­ing March 2; and “X-Men: Dark Phoenix,” out Novem­ber 2018, with $24 mil­lion. And don’t for­get her Dior en­dorse­ment.

The fourth spot went to Melissa McCarthy with $18 mil­lion, thanks to co-writ­ing, co-pro­duc­ing and star­ring in “Life of the Party,” with hus­band Ben Fal­cone (also di­rect­ing), Richard E. Grant and Jane Cur­tain, due May 11. Fifth place was taken by Mila Ku­nis, thanks to her Jim Beam com­mer­cials and the se­quel “Bad Mom’s Christ­mas,” open­ing Nov. 3, “The Spy who Dumped Me,” with Kate McKin­non, ar­riv­ing July 6 and the an­i­mated film, “Amuse­ment Park,” out in March 2019, with $15.5 mil­lion. Emma Wat­son makes her first ap­pear­ance at No. 6, fol­lowed by “Atomic Blonde” Char­l­ize Theron, Kate Blanchett, Ju­lia Roberts and Amy Adams.

Good thing nei­ther Stone nor Lawrence are mar­ried ... imag­ine those pre-nups!

Photo credit: Twen­ti­eth Cen­tury Fox

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