MCA Chairman Lew Wasserman will get $327 million, plus $3 million a year for the next five years. MCA President Sidney Sheinberg will get $21 million, plus $8.6 million a year if he promises not to quit. Universal Pictures Chairman Tom Pollock will get $26.6 million. And some shareholders don't get enough. Those are some of the figures -- and charges -- that have come to light in the wake of Matsushita's $6.13 billion buyout offer for MCA/Universal, which was accepted by the entertainment giant.
The dollar figures for MCA's top officers come from a detailed offer filed last week with the Securities and Exchange Commission -- though the offer failed to say how much money was going to super-agent Mike Ovitz, who's widely credited with helping to instigate and negotiate the deal and widely rumored to be in line for the job of MCA chief when he gets tired of being Hollywood's most powerful middleman.
Meanwhile, 10 shareholders are suing MCA over the deal, claiming that the price of $66 a share is considerably less than MCA was worth. Even though MCA stock was trading in the mid-$30 range before word of the purchase began to spread, insiders felt that Wasserman would reject any offer of less than $75 or $80 a share; that he took the lower figure was seen as a victory for Ovitz and Matsushita, and a sign that Wasserman wanted out quickly.
'Home' Again, 'Home' Again
"Home Alone" is refusing to relinquish its position atop the box office charts, even in the face of such competition as Rob Reiner's "Misery," which opened strongly last weekend. But while the John Hughes-produced comedy remains the top-grossing movie, newer films do seem to be taking business away from "Predator 2," "Rocky V" and "Child's Play 2," all of which have seen their per-screen averages fall sharply ... And if "Home Alone" looks to be the year's third sleeper blockbuster -- after "Pretty Woman" and "Ghost" -- it has also turned 10-year-old Macaulay Culkin into a legitimate movie star -- at least if you judge by how Hollywood is now treating him. Twentieth Century Fox has taken out "for your consideration" ads in the Hollywood trade papers touting Culkin for a Best Actor Academy Award nomination, while reports say he'll be paid $1 million for Imagine Entertainment's "I Am Woman." A sequel to "Home Alone" is also in the works.
And the Felix Winners Are The Italian drama "Porte Aperte" and Kenneth Branagh's version of "Henry V" won the top awards at Sunday's European Film Awards, a multinational ceremony designed to be Europe's answer to the Oscars. The awards -- known as Felixes -- are chosen by a seven-member jury; this year the jury chief was Ingmar Bergman and other members included actresses Deborah Kerr and Jeanne Moreau. "Porte Aperte," which deals with a 1930s murder trial, beat out the favored French film "Cyrano de Bergerac" for European film of the year. "Henry V" won for young European film, and Branagh picked up another award as European actor of the year. The top actress award went to Carmen Maura in "Ay Carmela."
Short Takes Also in Europe, Greek director Theodore Angelpoulos has run into some stiff resistance in planning "The Suspended Stride of the Stork." The movie, starring Marcello Mastroianni, begins shooting in Athens on Monday and then moves to the small town of Florina -- but in that town, the local Greek Orthodox bishop has threatened to "destroy the props with fire" and also to excommunicate anyone working on the movie. The bishop objects to the film's erotic scenes and its call for the elimination of national borders. Late last week, the Greek government said it "unreservedly supports" the director ... "Dick Tracy" may not have been the success Walt Disney and Warren Beatty were hoping for, but it did well enough to encourage a related project. Nelvana Limited has just secured rights to a live-action film about Fearless Fosdick ... And finally, Daily Variety reports that Billy Crystal and Danny DeVito are considering remakes of the 1955 Ernest Borgnine film "Marty" (with DeVito) and of the Laurel and Hardy feature "Sons of the Desert."