Gerard Butler is joining the seeming cavalcade of A-list actors who are taking to the courtroom to settle contract disputes with movie studios over profits. It has become something of a running theme this week and we could see these kinds of disagreements continue to pop up for the near future with studios entering a new world order when it comes to releasing movies. Variety is reporting that Butler has a pending lawsuit over the movie Olympus Has Fallen and we could see similar action about other movies in the franchise as well.
While the recent lawsuit from Scarlett Johansson against Disney stems from the studio deciding to release the film on streaming at the same time as it did in theaters, the case with Gerard Butler doesn’t have the exact same theme. In this one, the actor has said he is owed back-pay from that flick. According to the Variety reporting on the pending lawsuit, the contract stipulated that he would earn 6% on domestic box office revenue over $70 million and 12% on international box office numbers over $35 million. The back-of-the-napkin math on that would look like something in the neighborhood of $10 million give-or-take a hundred thousand here or there. And does not include money he and his representatives say Butler’s production company is owed as well.
Gerard Butler and his team are arguing that the studios Millennium Films and Nu Image, both of which handled production on Olympus Has Fallen, got really creative with their accounting numbers and ended up having executive producers pocketing huge windfalls of money without having Gerard Butler ever see a dime of it. This included supposedly conflicting receipt statements and a difference in deductions from the foreign box office numbers and distribution deals. It appears to be a shady mess especially if Gerard Butler is in the right on the actual accounting here.
Olympus Has Fallen is the first movie in the Has Fallen franchise which stars Gerard Butler as Secret Service Agent Mike Banning. The film kicked off the ongoing stories of the President and others being consistent targets of assassination and terrorist attacks. If the franchise is to be believed, it is all-out warfare when it comes to protecting the President. Luckily Gerard Butler as Banning is up to the task. In addition to Olympus Has Fallen, there has also been 2016s London Has Fallen in which they took a little road trip across the pond, and then 2019s Angel Has Fallen which put Gerard Butler on the run after a frame-up job in another assassination attempt.
Time will tell if Gerard Butler is able to settle these contractual and financial disputes with the studios. It stands to reason they will, especially considering there is another movie planned for this franchise. That is Night Has Fallen. It is unclear what the plot for this one will be, but based on the consistency of the other movies, there is a grand plot that threatens the safety of the world and its leader. Just a hunch on that one.
In the meantime, Gerard Butler has some other sequels in the works as well. There are plans for Den of Thieves 2: Pantera as well as a follow-up to the disaster film Greenland. He has a number of other movies in the pipeline as well and remains one of the busier actors around. We can only hope the other studios don’t try to screw him out of money as well.