Monkey Points

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Monkey Points

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In the motion picture industry, the term monkey points refers to the practice of many low budget production companies offering talent, such as actor or writer, a percentage of a film's profits, as opposed to a percentage of the film's gross, or a fixed salary. (The 'monkey' is intended to be derogatory.)

This term was coined by Eddie Murphy, who also stated that only a fool would accept net points in their contracts; always insist on gross points. Since such projects usually never make any money—at least on paper—the talent who accepts a percentage of the project's profits usually never makes any money. This is due to the infamous Hollywood accounting, where a studio manages to list every conceivable expense associated with running a studio as an expense of the film in question—eating up any gross profits. Writers and other lesser persons often get stuck with monkey points. Being a gross player, someone with enough clout to be given gross points, is not common in Hollywood.

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