Sylvester Stallone is taking Warner Bros. to court over profits from the 1993 film, Demolition Man.
The actor claims that the studio intentionally concealed profits made by the movie and he's seeking to end bad accounting practices on the part of Warner Bros. for all talent.
The Hollywood Reporter obtained the complaint lodged by Stallone through his production company, Rogue Marble. According to the complaint, Stallone was due greater percentages of the film's gross once the it reached certain milestones. The complaint says Stallone didn't receive any profit participation statements after 1997. Rogue Marble reached out to Warner Bros. in 2014 to inquire about this but were not satisfied with the explanation offered by the studio.
"The motion picture studios are notoriously greedy," states the complaint. "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 complaint states that Stallone's Demolition Man deal meant that he'd earn 15% of the defined gross once the film made $125m. If the gross surpassed $200m he'd get 17.5% and if it reached $250m then he'd earn 20%. The complaint argues that the film achieved at least $125m and therefore he's entitled to at least 15%.
As well as the alleged contractual breach, Stallone is seeking further damages in a fraud claim. He'll be hoping to support this claim by showing that the studio misrepresented and intentionally concealed facts.
Stallone's complaint makes some very serious allegations against the studio, characterising Warner Bros.' conduct as "unscrupulous, unethical and offensive, and causes substantial injury to consumers"
Should the Oscar Nominee emerge victorious, then we could expect to see a whole host of similar lawsuits from stars asking to have another look at the books.