'Butterfly Effect' Production Company Sued For Failing to Share Film's Profits

Production company Benderspink filed a lawsuit on Thursday claiming it is owed profit shares from co-producer's FilmEngine for the 2004 Ashton Kutcher thriller.
New Line Cinema
Ashton Kutcher in "The Butterfly Effect"

Production company Benderspink filed a lawsuit on Thursday claiming it is owed profit shares from the 2004 Ashton Kutcher thriller, The Butterfly Effect

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Named in the lawsuit that was filed at the Los Angeles Superior Court were FilmEngine, Highwire, Roulette and Rhulen, which are described as "interrelated film production companies."

Read the full complaint here

It claims that in 2003, Benderspink — which is run by Chris Bender and J.C. Spink — and FilmEngine entered into a written memorandum to produce the sci-fi drama, that also starred Amy Smart and Eric Stoltz

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The Defendants agreed to pay 50 percent of all net profits according to the lawsuit, which claims that "for 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."

However, in 2012, Benderspink allegedly learned from a third party that they had received a substantial payment from the film's distributor (the "Audit Settlement Payment") to put it into the black. 

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Following a year of requests for a participation report being "stonewalled," according to the suit, FilmEngine provided a report that consisted of a "one-page top sheet that indicated the Picture was not profitable." A request for books and accounting records was then allegedly ignored. 

Benderspink is now demanding 50 percent of all net profits made by FilmEngine and Roulette, and claims that the company has suffered damages in an amount subject to proof at trial.

Benderspink is represented by Bryan J. Freedman and Jordan S. Susman, of the Los Angeles law firm Freedman + Taitelman LLP. 

The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to FilmEngine for comment.