Bonnie Aarons, who plays the demonic nun in The Conjuring film franchise, is suing Warner Bros. over claims the studio is hiding her “rightful share” to merchandise revenue profits.
The actor, who plays Valak in 2016’s The Conjuring 2 and its subsequent spin-off The Nun, filed a complaint against Warner Bros., New Line Cinema and Scope Productions on Tuesday (August 15) in Los Angeles superior court.
In the lawsuit (via The Hollywood Reporter), Aarons alleges she was paid $71,500 for her role in The Nun, along with a $175,000 bonus tied to the film’s box office performance and her share of profits from merchandise featuring her character. The Nun grossed over $365million against a budget of $22million.
According to the agreement cited in the complaint, Aarons was promised a “pro-rata share of 5 per cent of 50 per cent of the gross receipts” from the licensing of merchandising rights.
The relevant merchandise, as detailed in the lawsuit, includes “toy dolls, decorations, pins, jewellery, t-shirts, socks, bedding, costumes, drinkware, and posters all using Ms Aarons’ likeness”.
Aarons says Warner Bros. sent her written statements showing her share of revenue which she alleges were “inconsistent with the extensive merchandising activities” for her character. When she asked to elaborate on the figures, the studio sent a “spreadsheet that contained line items corresponding to only a fraction of the known licenses”.
The complaint states: “Instead of accounting and paying in a transparent fashion, Warner Bros. obscures and hides the true amount of Ms Aarons’ rightful share of merchandising revenues, all while continuing to exploit her.”
The actor is suing for breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.
Warner Bros. declined to comment when contacted by NME.
The Conjuring franchise has grossed over $2billion at the box office. It is made up of eight films in total so far: three mainline Conjuring films, three Anabelle spin-offs, The Nun, and 2019’s The Curse Of La Llorona. A sequel to The Nun is scheduled to be released on September 8, 2023.
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