FIVE YEARS after he made it, Natural Born Killers continues to be a millstone around Oliver Stone's neck. Last week, the US Supreme Court rejected an attempt by Time Warner to put to an end a lawsuit that seeks to hold the director liable for alleged "copycat" killings. The suit cites murders carried out by a young couple in Louisiana and Mississippi three years ago, and claims that Natural Born Killers intended to incite its audience to commit these and similar crimes. While the Time Warner lawyers stated at an earlier hearing that they found it hard to believe that any conclusive proof could be presented against Stone, they were concerned enough to wish to present the case to the Supreme Court. The Los Angeles Times quoted a legal authority: "Hollywood ought to be very concerned. There is no way of knowing what a jury will do if this case goes to trial."
ACCORDING TO figures released last week, $52.7m will get your average US film made, but you'll need half as much again for the marketing. While production costs are down, marketing costs have risen by 13 per cent.