August 05, 2011 9:36am PT by Eriq Gardner
'High School Musical' Star Corbin Bleu Dragged Into Lawsuit Over Failed Racing Film
Financiers of the box office bomb Free Style are looking to collect from producers and High School Musical star Corbin Bleu. On Thursday, Third Eye Capital and Strative Capital filed a $12 million lawsuit alleging fraud, breach of contract and misrepresentation.
The claims were filed in LA Superior Court against Samuel Goldwyn Films, Del Mar Entertainment, various other producers and Bleu, who was supposed to translate the success he enjoyed in reaching teenage girls on High School Musical to a film about a young man chasing a national motocross championship.
Instead, Free Style, which came out in 2008, has generated just $1.3 million from all sources, including its theatrical run, foreign distribution and DVD sales.
The suit alleges the revenue generated fell well short of the $8.57 million loan that the plaintiffs put up, which was to cover P&A costs.
The lenders blame alleged misrepresentations and poor promotion for their investment going sour.
Bleu is being sued because he purportedly failed to honor an agreement that called for providing interviews to support the film. According to the complaint, Bleu and his reps had already decided that he "would be taking his career in a different direction from the teen romance works in which he had previously been involved (including Freestyle), and had decided that Mr. Bleu would no longer promote those kinds of projects."
The moneymen also claim producers misled them about the number of screens the film would open on nationwide, a "grossly inflated and false P&A marketing budget," and funds supposedly being put up by other banks.
Third Eye Capital now is seeking more than $12 million in damages, punitive damages, and legal costs. The complaint was filed by attorney Jeffrey Wruble.