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Hanks sues over profit on 'Greek Wedding'

August 08, 2007|Lorenza Munoz | Times Staff Writer

Tom Hanks, wife Rita Wilson and actress-writer Nia Vardalos have sued one of the producers behind the 2002 hit "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" for an unspecified amount of money they allege they are still owed.

The suit, filed Monday in Los Angeles, alleges that producers Hanks, Wilson and Gary Goetzman and writer-star Vardalos are owed their percentage "share of net profits" by Gold Circle Films, which helped develop, finance and produce the movie. The suit was filed by various companies used by the four.

The movie, which according to the suit cost about $5 million to make, has grossed about $370 million in theatrical sales, according to Box Office Mojo, a tracking firm.

However, according to people familiar with the case, Gold Circle maintains that the aggregate gross receipts -- including theatrical, pay television, cable and home video -- amount to $287 million.

Although no dollar amount is listed by the plaintiffs, they allege that Gold Circle "has acted willfully, maliciously and in wanton disregard of plaintiffs' rights under the agreements."

However, Gold Circle Vice President Scott Niemeyer said in a statement that the suit against the Century City company "lacks any merit and Gold Circle has met all requests from auditors and communicated and released documents to them."

Vardalos, who received an Academy Award writing nomination for the film, was an unknown actress before the movie became a sleeper sensation.

She has not had a hit since "Greek Wedding," and a television version fizzled.

She and Hanks are collaborating on "A Wilderness of Monkeys," which is scheduled for release next year.

lorenza.munoz@latimes.com

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