Main Line vs. Basinger was a case on breach of contract. The plaintiff, Main Line had agreed to hire the defendant through a ‘Loan Out’ company so that Basinger could play a lead role in film production. Basinger was impressed by the idea and expressed her willingness to take part in the production. Though the defendant was to be contracted through her employer, she took part in negotiations that led to a draft agreement. Some of the contentious issues such as the level of nudity in the film were discussed in the defendant’s presence and resolutions were made with provisions that a significant level of nudity would exist in the film.
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There were further agreements that the contract was to be between the plaintiff and Mighty Wind, Basinger’s employer. A series of negotiations between the parties’ attorneys led to a final agreement and a contract. The contract also stipulated that in the event of the dissolution of Mighty Wind Company, Basinger would be considered as the producer’s employee. A month later, rumors developed that Basinger would not act in the film and there was a subsequent breach leading to the suit. This paper seeks to explore the legal aspects of the case. The paper will analyze the arguments of the parties during the trial.
Revision of Main Line’s minimum lost profit amount
Legal and enforceable contracts induce obligations that must be fulfilled by the parties to a contract. Failures to accomplish these obligations lead to a breach of contract and a possible remedy, damages. The amount of damages that can be awarded for breach of contract is however regulated by the principle of remoteness and amount of damage that is suffered. Determination of the number of liquidated damages, therefore, depends on the relationship between consequences of the breach and the loss suffered as well as the amount of loss that is suffered.
In the case, the plaintiff lost an estimated revenue of 3 million dollars in domestic distribution revenues due to the breach of contract. There were further estimated losses of $ 800,000 in foreign pre-sales and $2.1 million loss due to the absence of Basinger from the film. All these losses accrued due to Basinger’s decision to abscond her obligations. She is, therefore, the cause of the loss. Similarly, the measure of the damages was not extraordinary because the amounts would have been earned had the defendant honored the contract. The losses should therefore not be revised downwards because they are consistent with the principle of remoteness and measure for liquidated damages.
The relevance of costs in the determination of lost profit
Basinger’s salary and the plaintiff’s projected revenues
The measure of damages due to breach of contract is primarily based on the relationship between contractual obligations and the cause of the losses as well as the amount of loss suffered thereafter. There is no clear relationship between Basinger’s salary and the loss caused by the breach. As a result, this value is not relevant in determining the Main’s lost profits. The difference in revenues that would have been realized had Basinger acted in the film or if another actor did the work is however relevant. This is because generated revenues in the film industry are dependent on the popularity, fame, and qualities of a movie’s main actors. The difference in revenues due to Basinger’s films and Fenn’s films is therefore significant in the determination of lost profits.
Estimation of revenues beyond presale amounts
Expected revenues from the film are significant regardless of the time in which they would have been realized. This is because the revenues are derived from the same venture. The plaintiff’s attorney is therefore correct to estimate revenues beyond pre-sales.
Adjusting lost profits to include estimated revenues for the use of a different actor
The primary guideline for estimating damages is the actual loss suffered. Generated income through avenues such as using another actor falls under the plaintiff’s duty to mitigate losses. As a result, revenues derived from loss minimization ventures reduce the number of damages. It would, therefore, have been valid to use $ 1.7 million as revenue estimate because damages are meant to indemnify the injured party and not to create benefits.
Main Line’s price cash position: If Basinger breached and if she performed the contract
The success of production in the entertainment industry depends on the qualities of the main actor together with his or her popularity and fame among the target audience. Revenues can theoretically be attributed to other characters, especially if there are other lead characters in a film. However, elements such as compatibility of characters also contribute to the success of a production. Changing lead characters, especially at advanced stages of production, therefore has the potential of causing total financial loss. This is particularly applicable if the previously contracted actor is regarded as the best in the industry. It is, therefore, reasonable to assume that Main Line’s revenues would have been attributed to Basinger’s performance of the contract.
Reaction to the jury’s assessment
Based on the principle of remoteness and measure of damages as well as the nature of the entertainment industry, the jury was justified in their assessment of Main Line’s lost profit.