Could you imagine waiting more than 10 years to see profit from a movie you helped to produce? If you said no then you wouldn’t be alone. Many people would hesitate to take such a financial risk, especially considering how fickle the movie industry can be when it comes to differentiating between a blockbuster and a flop.
But this is exactly what the production company Benderspink did when it entered into a memorandum of understanding with FilmEngine Entertainment back in November 2003 for the film “The Butterfly Effect” staring Ashton Kutcher.
According to Benderspink, it has been waiting for its 50 percent share of the film’s net profits for over a decade now but has not received any payments. The production company is now suing, accusing FilmEngine of fraud as well as breach of contract and breach of faith.
Since the movie’s release, Benderspink has been told by FilmEngine that it has not been paid because the movie has been “in the red,” meaning it has not made a profit. But Benderspink has reason to believe that this isn’t completely true. In its lawsuit, it claims that it discovered “a payment from a domestic distributor” that suggest the movie had made a profit.
According to Benderspink, it did not receive a financial update on the movie until this year. The production company claims it received a one-page report that offered no explanation for why the movie was not considered profitable or any data to support these claims.
Whether this is true or not will be up for the courts to decide.
Source: Courthouse News Service, “Court Fight Over 'Butterfly Effect' Money,” Matt Reynolds, July 8, 2014