Ten Months After Its Release, Was Paramount Pictures Over $60 Million in the RED on Forrest Gump?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about movies and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the movie urban legends featured so far.

MOVIE URBAN LEGEND: Ten months after the release of Forrest Gump, the studio behind the film ostensibly were in the HOLE over $60 million on the film!

In 1986, Winston Groom wrote a novel called Forrest Gump…

It didn’t do particularly well, but in the early 1990s, Robert Zemeckis and Paramount Pictures optioned the book for a movie. He agreed to a $350,00 up front fee, plus 3% of the net profits of the film.

The movie then went on to become one of the biggest movie hits ever upon its release in July of 1994.

The film won Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor (Tom hanks) at the Academy Awards, and by May 1995, it had sold over $600 million in ticket sales worldwide (and the VHS home movie had just recently been released).

However, by May 1995, Groom had yet to be paid ANYthing past his initial salary!

You see, Winston Groom, along with a few other people involved in the film (including the screenwriter, Eric Roth, and producers Wendy Finerman and Steve Tisch), only got percentages of the films’ NET profits, and in May of 1995, Paramount had yet to acknowledge that the film had actually MADE money yet!
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