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 Message
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com
 Subject: Re: additional from jms
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 2/25/2005 6:22:05 PM  

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(3 messages)


Methuselah Jones wrote:
> Carved in mystic runes upon the very living rock, the last words of
> <jmsatb5@aol.com> of rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated make plain:
>
> > When we were negotiating the original B5 deal -- by whose terms I
will
> > never see a dime in profit -- the one thing they did let me have
were
> > the movie rights.
>
> No wonder WB likes B5 -- they don't have to pay you anything for it.
> Kind of puts a different light on buying the DVDs and stuff, knowing
> we're just supporting some fat-ass studio execs and not the actual
> talent.
>

That's the great irony of the situation. The criteria told to us right
up front while we were producing B5 was that each of the series on PTEN
had to show a profit *in that year* in order to stay on the air and be
renewed. So we'd have these meetings with studio heads who were
congratulating us on how much money the show was making for them
(again, while we were still making for it), and then look at me,
realize what they'd said, and hurriedly add, "Though technically we're
still in the red."

The show, all in, cost about $110 million to make. Each year of its
original run, we know it showed a profit because they TOLD us so. And
in one case, they actually showed us the figures. It's now been on the
air worldwide for ten years. There's been merchandise, syndication,
cable, books, you name it. The DVDs grossed roughly half a BILLION
dollars (and that was just after they put out S5, without all of the S5
sales in).

So what does my last profit statement say? We're $80 million in the
red.

Basically, by the terms of my contract, if a set on a WB movie burns
down in Botswana, they can charge it against B5's profits.

But then again, I knew that was the situation going in...I saw the
writing on the wall (and the contract) from the git-go. I didn't do
this to build an empire, I wanted to tell this story...and that's worth
more than anything else.

Doesn't mean I can't tweak 'em about it, though.

jms

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