Upon release, the “Scary Movie” franchise was received well by the public and quickly became a cultural staple for its brilliant spoof of recognized haunted films.
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The film “Scary Movie” hit the ground running: Before we had blockbuster franchises like “Black Panther,” the first film to spawn from the “Scary Movie” franchise in 2000 became one of the highest-grossing films by Black directors, EBONY reports.
In 2019, Forbes placed “Scary Movie” on its list of the “25 highest-grossing horror movies ever.” The outlet reported that its lifetime domestic gross was anywhere from $159 million to $262.5 million at that time.
After the first two films, the Wayans brothers were no longer heavily involved with the franchise when the third installment rolled around because Marlon claims it was swiftly “snatched” by The Weinstein Company.
“We didn’t walk away from a franchise. They didn’t want to make our deal, and they snatched it,” Marlon Wayans explained during a conversation with Kevin Hart on the Comedy Gold Minds podcast. “We never walked away from our franchise that we created. It was taken and us being the creatives that we are were like ‘Alright, bet.'”
He continued: “‘Now watch what I create.'”
Making matters worse, the Wayans didn’t hear they would no longer be involved in the third installment of their franchise directly.
Instead, it was brought to their attention after it was shared by a publication around the holidays.
“The second one they rushed us into, and by the third one, they didn’t want to pay the money, so they snatched it. We found out on Christmas that they hired somebody else to go do it,” Wayans told Hart.
The third installment was brought to the screens by Dimension Films, a division that was under The Weinstein Company, and the Wayans brothers’ involvement was reduced to writing credits.
The Wayans brothers were said to have been asked to return for the fifth “Scary Movie” film: The Wayans brothers were asked to return for the fifth film. However, the opportunity was turned down because they “had [their] time and did what [they] could with the franchise,” according to Looper.
Marlon also said that his family may one day follow through with a lawsuit against The Weinstein Company.
“We probably should sue for hundreds of millions of dollars, because they probably owe us,” Marlon said on the podcast episode.
He continued: “And maybe one day we will. But we didn’t walk away from our franchise.”
In 2018, The Weinstein Company reportedly filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Then, in 2021, the company was approved to start the process of a liquidation plan by a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge, according to Deadline.
Based on these findings, only time will tell if the Wayans brothers will get the money Marlon claims they are owed.