According to Variety, FilmNation has filed a lawsuit against the Weinstein Company for releasing John Lee Hancock’s The Founder and Stephen Gaghan’s Gold too close together. FilmNation co-financed The Founder, which flopped when it hit wide release in January, and now it’s blaming the Weinstein Company’s poor planning for the film’s relatively lousy box office take.
The basis for this suit is that FilmNation had a “no competitive release” clause in its agreement with the Weinstein Company, which essentially means that no similar movies could come out within a week of The Founder. According to FilmNation, Gold is indeed too similar, and that similarity supposedly drove moviegoers away.
It’s hard not to see what Filmnation is talking about, as both movies focus on real-life business owners who “manipulate people as they build tremendous fortunes,” both movies star award-winning actors (Michael Keaton in The Founder and Matthew McConaughey in Gold), and—based on an image included in the suit that appears to show ads for both movies on opposite pages of one New York Times issue—they were even marketed in the same way to the same audience. Apparently, FilmNation told the Weinstein Company that it was breaching their agreement back in November, but nothing seems to have come of that.
FilmNation is looking for $15 million in damages, but the Weinstein Company has vowed to challenge this lawsuit in court. Hopefully somebody will make a movie about this someday.