Why Sylvester Stallone Is Suing Warner Bros. Over Demolition Man

Sylvester Stallone in Demolition Man

Even though Demolition Man was released all the way back in 1993, Sylvester Stallone still has a bee in his bonnet over the sci-fi action extravaganza. But rather than it being about the quality of the film, Stallone is now prepared to go to war with Warner Bros over the accounting of the profits from Demolition Man, which he believes is all amiss. So much so that he insists he's still owed millions for the film.

Sylvester Stallone has claimed that Warner Bros intentionally hid the profits that Demolition Man made, and on Wednesday he filed contract and fraud claims at the Los Angeles Superior Court against the studio through his loan-out company Rogue Marble. As part of Stallone's complaint, he insisted that the accounting details on Demolition Man have never made complete sense. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Demolition Man, which also starred Wesley Snipes and Sandra Bullock, made around $58 million when it was released into theaters, while it also made much more in video sales.

But Sylvester Stallone isn't just doing this for himself, though. That's because the 70-year-old actor wants to do something about "Hollywood Accounting," which he believes sees talent missing out on money that's rightfully theirs. In the complaint that was made to the Superior court, Stallone alleges that Warner Bros has sat on the money that's owed to Rogue Marble for Demolition Man for almost 25 years.

They originally did this by insisting that Rogue Marble wasn't actually owed any of the profits from Demolition Man. This provoked Rogue Marble to eventually request accounting figures on Demolition Man in 2014. Warner Bros responded in January 2015 by sending a "bogus letter asserting the Film was $66,926,628 unrecouped." Rogue Marble was able to see through these numbers, and after some more back and forth between the two parties, Warner Bros then sent a check for $2,820,000, as they'd suddenly figured out that Demolition Man had actually made its deficit back. The lawsuit insists that since Demolition Man made at least $125 million, Sylvester Stallone was actually entitled to receive at least 15 percent of its profits.

Sylvester Stallone is looking for further information, as well as the full amount of money owed to him. Another facet of this complaint alleges that Warner Bros has taken part in unfair business practices, and calls them "unscrupulous, unethical and offensive, and causes substantial injury to consumers." The complaint concludes:

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.

All of which is made even more dramatic by the fact that Warner Bros distributed Creed, the film that earned Sylvester Stallone a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award back in 2016. Which means that things could get very heated, and maybe even a tad emotional, as the lawsuit progresses over the coming weeks and months.

Gregory Wakeman