Kevin Costner sues movie studio over compensation dispute

By Pankaj Ladhar of Manos • Alwine P.L.

Miamians have not seen Kevin Costner on the big screen in quite some time. However, because of skillful contract negotiation, Costner is still collecting profits from some of his big hits from the 1990s.

Or he should be, but isn’t.

That’s according to an entertainment law lawsuit Costner recently filed against Morgan Creek Productions, the independent studio he claims is supposed to be paying him a portion of the profits for the 1991 hit film “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves,” which he produced and starred in.

Costner claims that Morgan Creek has not been diligent or proper in how it is accounting for the money “Robin Hood” made. Worldwide, it grossed $390 million and has made tens of millions more since its theatrtical run in TV re-broadcast rights.

Morgan Creek executives reacted to Costner’s claim with skepticism, questioning why it took him 22 years to find fault with their accounting practices. They also noted Costner has made more than $40 million from the film (which would be irrelevant if the real area of dispute is the means by which his compensation is calculated ).

What you should see here is that contracts can be used to maximize profits from lucrative entertainment ventures and that in many cases, there is some dispute over them if one party later becomes unhappy with the terms of the contract. An attorney who has experience working with entertainers can make sure that your best interests are represented and will be a strong advocate for you as you seek to claim what is rightfully yours.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter, “Kevin Costner Sues to Collect ‘Robin Hood’ Money,” Eriq Gardner, July 24, 2012