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Tom Hanks Sues Over “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”

Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP


Tom Hanks Sues Over “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”


Tom Hanks and his wife have joined the actor and screenwriter of the 2002 low-budget comedy hit “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” in suing the film firm behind it for a portion of earnings they allege was unpaid.

The suit, which was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, is seeking unspecified monetary damages as well as a complete audit of the earnings.

The actor has joined forces with his co-producers from the 2002 picture, his wife Rita Wilson and Gary Goetzman, as well as main actress Nia Vardalos, to file a lawsuit against Gold Circle.

The suit also names Big Wedding Prods. and Vortex Pictures as defendants, in addition to Gold Circle, which is funded by billionaire Norm Waitt Jr., co-founder of Gateway Inc.

Plaintiffs argue that Gold Circle reported gross receipts of $287 million for the film, which was made on a $5 million budget, despite media estimates indicating a figure closer to $400 million. The plaintiffs claim that the defendants have failed to produce an audit that was sought to clarify the situation.

According to the complaint, Vardalos’ contract mandates an 8% share of adjusted gross earnings, while the other three plaintiffs are due one-third each of the net amount left after backend payments.

“The accounting statements rendered by defendants have been vague and inadequate in failing to provide information consistent with industry standards,” the suit says.

IFC, which distributed “Greek Wedding” in the United States, was a non-equity contractor on the film and is not a party to the lawsuit.

All of the accusations in the case, according to Scott Niemeyer, a principal at Gold Circle, are “frivolous” and “completely without merit.”

“Gold Circle has fully complied with its contractual obligations and has already paid plaintiffs a combined total of over $44 million in profits on ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding.’ Gold Circle has never thwarted the producers’ audit rights,” he said.

“Since receiving plaintiffs’ initial audit request over two years ago in early 2005, Gold Circle has invited plaintiffs’ auditors to schedule and conduct their audit,” the statement added. “However, for over two years the plaintiffs and their auditors have done nothing to advance an audit. Plaintiffs’ representatives have filed this frivolous lawsuit as a desperate attempt to cover up their failure to initiate potential audit claims that have since been time-barred under the express terms of the applicable contracts.”

Vardalos received an Oscar writing nomination for the movie.


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