EMMA STONE IN “BATTLE OF THE SEXES”
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!