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Wednesday, 7 March, 2001, 12:26 GMT
Fox loses legal fight over script
Arnold Scwarzenegger
Jingle All The Way earned more than £41m in the US
A small publishing firm has won a $19m (£13m) lawsuit against studio giant 20th Century Fox for stealing the idea for the Arnold Schwarzenegger Christmas film, Jingle All The Way.

Murray Hill Publications, based in Detroit, said the script for the 1996 film bore a remarkable resemblance to a screenplay, Could this be Christmas?, written by a high school teacher.


They obviously thought nobody would have the clout to fight

Murray Hill publications
The screenwriter for Jingle All the Way, listed as Ed McQueen, was actually an alias for Randy Kornfield, a script reader at Fox, Mayer Morganroth, a lawyer for the publishing firm said.

The film, which earned more than $60m (£41m) at the US box office, had a number of plot similarities to the screenplay, said Mr Morganroth.

Action

In both, a boy draws a picture of an action figure he wants for Christmas and puts it on the fridge, where his father sees it, Morganroth said.

The father visits a toy store to find the action figure, only to discover the biggest-selling gift of the season has long since sold out.

"They both were about an African-American parent and a caucasian trying to find a toy for a son. And the toy in our script was Action Man, and in their script was Turbo Man," Mr Morganroth added.

Murray Hill bought the rights to the screenplay and tried to sell the idea to several film studios in 1993, including Fox, without success.

Before the case began a lawyer for Murray Hill said: "This was a blatant use of our script on the part of 20th Century Fox.

"They obviously thought nobody would have the clout to fight."

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