Gerard Butler Files a Lawsuit of His Own Over ‘Olympus Has Fallen’ Profits

Gerard Butler Files a Lawsuit of His Own Over ‘Olympus Has Fallen’ Profits

Are you ready for some litigation? I hope so, because it looks like a bunch of lawsuits are going to start coming out of Tinseltown. The other day, word broke that Scarlett Johansson was taking Disney to court, claiming that the studio’s decision to release Black Widow on Disney+ cost her some serious bonus money (about $50 million, all told). Today, rumors are circulating that Cruella star Emma Stone is considering similar action. And now, Gerard Butler wants to get in on this. Butler isn’t suing Disney, though. And this lawsuit has nothing to do with streaming. Instead, the actor is claiming he’s owed a hefty sum from the success of Olympus Has Fallen.

With stories like these, I know there’s a tendency to say, “Who cares? Movie stars are already rich!” And sure, that’s true. But a contract is a contract, and if studios break contracts, actors have every right to take them to court. In the wake of the news that Scarlett Johansson was filing suit against Disney, it looks like other actors are feeling empowered to follow her lead. As I mentioned above, there’s a rumor going around that Emma Stone is considering taking Disney to court over Cruella profits, but that hasn’t been confirmed yet.

But here’s something that is confirmed. THR is reporting that Gerard Butler has brought “a fraud claim with the assertion that defendants Nu Image, Millennium Media and Padre Nuestro Productions never intended to pay him net profits” for 2013’s Olympus Has Fallen. Of course, this is not the same situation as the Johansson lawsuit. That case involves Disney’s decision to release Black Widow in theaters and on Disney+ at the same time – a decision Johansson and her lawyers claim cost her some serious bonus money.

Still, it’s clear that we’re on the cusp of some sort of shift in Hollywood right now, with actors waking up to the fact that they’re owed some money. We just have to wonder how many more lawsuits will follow, and what will become of them all.

The Gerard Butler Lawsuit

Variety has even more info on the Gerard Butler lawsuit, reporting that “Butler’s contract entitled him to 10% of net profits, plus 6% of domestic adjusted gross receipts above $70 million and 12% of foreign adjusted gross receipts above $35 million. His production company was also entitled to 5% of net profits, and Butler was to receive certain bonuses for hitting box office thresholds.”

According to the suit, Butler has received “irregular accounting statements from the producer,” which caused the actor to hire an auditor. The auditor then discovered that “receipts were understated by $17.5 million, and producers’ receipts were understated by $12 million, including the $8 million that went to the executives.” In addition to that, the suit allergies that Nu Image and Millennium had distributors deduct expenses so that some receipts would go underreported.

The lawsuit also 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.”

My advice: give Gerard Butler his damn money. But I’m no lawyer, so maybe don’t listen to me.

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