ContractsProf Blog

Editor: Myanna Dellinger
University of South Dakota School of Law

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Judge Denies $8.3+ million sought from Paris Hilton for Movie Flop

399px-Paris_Hilton_3 Not too surprisingly, the film “Pledge This!,” a sorority comedy starring Paris Hilton, bombed.  The film’s investors sued Hilton for over $8.3 million, alleging that Hilton breached her contract by failing to promote the movie, and thereby causing it to bomb.  The $8.3+ million represented roughly what it cost to produce the film, and the investors argued that they could have made at least that much if Hilton had followed through on her end of the bargain.  (Image source: Wikimedia Commons).

The AP reports that Judge Moreno (SDNY SD Fla.) has decided that the damages requested by investors are too speculative.  According to the AP, Judge Moreno wrote:

"The court finds compelling evidence in the record that 'Pledge This!' lost money because the film's inexperienced producers hastily cobbled together a wholly inadequate marketing plan," the judge wrote. "They sent scattershot requests to their principal star in the hopes that she could find time to promote a sinking ship."

Even if Hilton breached by failing to promote the movie, the court held that investors failed to establish a causal link between the $8.3 million loss and her breach.  Hilton is not entirely off the hook, though.  As the AP reports, if she did breach, she may be liable for some of the $1 million she was paid under the contract.

[If you have located an online copy of the court's decision, please leave a link to it in the comments. Thanks!]

Here's the trailer, if you dare:

[Meredith R. Miller]

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Truly frightening (the trailer, that is). And yet, I would have thought the National Lampoon and Carmen Electra brands alone would guarantee that an $8 million movie would at least cover its own costs at $10 or more per ticket, plus the inevitably lucrative overseas and DVD markets. Where are Cindy Crawford (Fair Game) and Paulina Porizkova (Her Alibi) when you need them? At least their bad movies (Paulina was nominated for a Worst Actress Razzie and Cindy was nominated for three Razzies, including Worst Screen Couple with co-star Billy Baldwin) weren't complete flops.

Posted by: Keith | Aug 22, 2009 6:25:27 AM

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