Butterfly Effect production companies sued over profit share

Hollywood executives behind ASHTON KUTCHER's film THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT have been slapped with a lawsuit by bosses at production company Benderspink alleging they are owed money from a profit share agreement.

In a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles on Thursday (03Jul14), Benderspink heads Chris Bender and J.C. Spink name "interrelated film companies" FilmEngine, Highwire, Roulette and Rhulen as defendants and claim they are owed a 50 per cent share of profits from the 2004 time travel thriller.

In the legal documents, Bender and Spink claim to have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in 2003 with bosses at FilmEngine to produce the movie, with Benderspink to receive 50 per cent of all earnings.

However, the plaintiffs insist that over several years the "Defendants repeatedly assured Benderspink that the picture was still in the red, and therefore no payment was due or owing under the MOU".

Bender and Spink say a third party notified them in 2012 that a large payment from the movie's distributors had taken the enterprise into the black, and they spent a year submitting requests for a participation report before FilmEngine provided a "one-page top sheet that indicated the Picture was not profitable".

Requests for books and accounting records were ignored, according to the suit.

The Benderspink bosses are now suing for damages and 50 per cent of all net profits made by FilmEngine and Roulette.

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