Before Scarlett Johansson and Disney, Gerard Butler Sued His Own $501M Franchise for Allegedly Paying Him “Pennies”

Gerard Butler Scammed of $10 Million For Olympus Has Fallen

Gerard Butler, who is renowned for his portrayal of King Leonidas of Sparta in 300, has become one of the most prominent names when it comes to creating a Hollywood blockbuster. Throughout his career, he has worked in different genres that have showcased his range as an actor.

Gerard Butler as King Leonidas of SpartaGerard Butler as King Leonidas of Sparta

However, the Plane actor met some shady producers when he was working in Olympus Has Fallen, and they convinced him to sign a contract that promised he would earn a hefty amount. But after the film’s success, Gerard Butler received mere pocket change, as he was scammed worth $10 million, and he took strict action against them.

Gerard Butler Sued His Film’s Producer For Refusal of Payment

When it comes to coming up with films that are gripping and full of action, Gerard Butler is the name that would instantly pop up in the minds of the viewers. Such was the case, as he did the 2013 action film Olympus Has Fallen, which grossed $172.8 million at the worldwide box office and spawned sequels titled London Has Fallen and Angel Has Fallen. 

Gerard Butler in Olympus Has FallenGerard Butler in Olympus Has Fallen
While the franchise performed excellently at the box office, it had allegedly scammed Butler for at least $10 million as per Variety. The drama didn’t stop there as Butler sued Nu Image/Millennium Films, where he claimed that the producer of the film hid the profits by tens of millions of dollars, as well as failed to mention the $8 million that went to its own executives.

The lawsuit claimed that Gerard Butler was entitled 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. Not only these perks but also his production company was meant to receive 5% net profits. However, none of these conditions were followed as the lawsuit stated,
“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.”

A still from Olympus Has FallenA still from Olympus Has Fallen
However, Nu Image/Millennium claims that Gerard Butler is owed nothing as the statements were “transparent with Mr. Butler and his representatives about the revenue of ‘Olympus Has Fallen.’” The statement continued, which stated that even his auditors checked those statements in “2015 and 2016,” which complied with all the agreements that led to no over dues to the actor. Finally, they concluded their disappointment with how things took an ugly turn between both parties,
“After over 8 years of our cooperation with Mr. Butler and his representatives on this matter, we are very disappointed that Mr. Butler has now decided to act in this manner.”
Gerard Butler isn’t the only actor who has sued his producer for shady business, as Scarlett Johansson also sued Marvel Studios for paying her in pennies for a film that did exceptionally well at the box office.

Scarlett Johansson Sued the Marvel Studios For Underpayment

Working in the MCU is one of the most lucrative offers any actor could, as it offers fame and financial benefits to its actors. However, that wasn’t the case with Scarlett Johansson, as she was heavily underpaid for Black Widow, her final project in the MCU that had grossed $379.7 million at the box office; but the company denied her box office profits.

Scarlett Johansson in and as Black Widow Scarlett Johansson in and as Black Widow
As per NBC, the actress sued MCU as they deprived her of the profits by releasing the film on their streaming service, which is different from traditional box office receipts, where the film is exclusively released in theatres. Since the film was simultaneously available on Disney+, it took a major part of profits and denied Johansson her cut of ticket sales. Hence, a complaint was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Nevertheless, a spokesperson for the Walt Disney Company stated that Johansson’s lawsuit had “no merit whatsoever,” adding, “Disney has fully complied with Ms. Johansson’s contract and furthermore, the release of Black Widow on Disney+ with Premier Access has significantly enhanced her ability to earn additional compensation on top of the $20M she has received to date.”

The lawsuit is proof of how Johansson worked tirelessly to promote her film but couldn’t enjoy the fruit her film yielded.

Olympus Has Fallen can be streamed on DIRECTV.

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