Hollywood has been filled to the brim with legal-related situations as of late. The biggest is arguably the revelation that longtime Marvel star Scarlettt Johansson is suing The Walt Disney Company due to the simultaneous theatrical/streaming release of Black Widow. There’s a chance the development could have further ramifications on the House of Mouse but, now, another entertainment company finds itself in a legal case of its own. Nu Image/Millennium Films is being sued by Gerard Butler in a financial matter relating to the film Olympus Has Fallen.
In a lawsuit filed this past Friday, Gerard Butler alleged that Nu Image/Millennium Films owes him at least $10 million in backend compensation for Olympus Has Fallen. According to Variety, the lawsuit claims the foreign and domestic returns for the film were downplayed by tens of millions of dollars. Butler’s suit also alleges that $8 million, which went to executives, went unreported. The suit states:
Producers have earned tens of millions of dollars from Olympus, but refuse to pay Butler a penny of the grosses and profits promised to him in the parties’ agreement. Butler refuses to tolerate Defendants’ misrepresentations and other wrongful conduct. Butler worked with Defendants to create a highly successful movie franchise. He demands his fair share.
The suit also states that Gerard Butler’s contract stipulated that he would receive 10% of the film’s net profits, along with 6% of the domestic adjusted gross returns over $70 million and 12% of foreign adjusted gross returns over $35 million. In addition, Butler was reportedly meant to earn a number of bonuses, which were contingent upon the movie hitting certain box office goals. His production company, G-Base, was also to receive 5% of the net profits.
This suit kicked off in earnest when Gerard Butler reportedly hired an auditor who allegedly discovered that the domestic returns were understated by $17.5 million and that producers’ receipts were understated by $12 million, which includes the aforementioned $8 million. According to the suit, Butler originally sought out the auditor after receiving accounting statements that seemed offbase.
When it opened in 2013, Olympus Has Fallen opened to a $30.5 million box office debut, exceeding expectations and earning itself the #2 spot at the box office. The film would ultimately finish its theatrical run with a total of $170.3 million worldwide. The movie, which stars Gerard Butler as secret service agent Mike Banning, would spawn two sequels, 2016’s London Has Fallen and 2019’s Angel Has Fallen. A fourth installment is also reported to be in the works.
Despite all of the details associated with Gerard Butler’s case, Variety refers to the situation as a more straightforward “Hollywood accounting” case, as opposed to Scarlett Johansson’s legal battle with Disney. The streaming ramifications of that case are significant and have reportedly even encouraged Cruella’s Emma Stone to weigh her own legal options following her movie’s same-day theatrical/streaming release.
The situation over at Disney will certainly be something to keep an eye on, but it’ll also be interesting to see how things pan out for Gerard Butler. And of course, be sure to check in with CinemaBlend for updates on all of these legal cases.