It’s not uncommon for AAA-actors to get a slice of a films gross at box office. It’s been this way since the rise of the Summer Blockbuster – and the 1990’s were no different. Yet it’s surprising to hear that Stallone has taken out a lawsuit out on Wednesday that seeks payment for a movie released over 20 years ago.
The lawsuit was filed through his loan-out company Rogue Marble. The filed contract and fraud claims against Warner Bros over the profits and failure to deliver agreed upon payments for the films success.
The 70 year-old Oscar nominee said;
“The motion picture studios are notoriously greedy… This one involves outright and obviously intentional dishonesty perpetrated against an international iconic talent. Here, WB decided it just wasn’t going to account to Rogue Marble on the Film. WB just sat on the money owed to Rogue Marble for years and told itself, without any justification, that Rogue Marble was not owed any profits. When a representative of Rogue Marble asked for an accounting, WB balked and then sent a bogus letter asserting the Film was $66,926,628 unrecouped. When challenged about this false accounting, it made a double-talk excuse, then prepared an actual profit participation statement for the same reporting period, and sent a check for $2,820,000 because the Film had in fact recouped its deficit.”
The lawsuit states that Stallone was due 15% of the gross once the picture hit $125 million, with that rising to 17.5% if the flick managed to soar past $200 million.
Demolition Man was released in 1993. The sci-fi classic starred Wesley Snipes and Sandra Bullock. Despite these huge names, the flick only went on to achieve around $58 million in its initial theatrical run. It did however rack up a small fortune on the home video circuit – which is where this lawsuit comes into effect.
For their part, Warner Bros have attempted to brush off the claims. They claim that the movie ran on a deficit – which prevented them from paying Stallone out. Yet in January 2015, Stallone received a short summary and a cheque from the studio for $2.8 million. The letter was so poorly constructed that it only took up one page.
Stallone’s intention with this lawsuit is to force Hollywood studios to organise their finances better – and also pick up an unknown amount in restitution. The lawsuit specifically states;
“Mr. Stallone is entitled to, among other things, a full accounting, an explanation of how this practice came to be, interest, damages, and an end to this practice for all talent who expect to be paid by WB for the fruits of their labor.”
We’ll be sure to keep an eye on this one as it develops.