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List Of The Popular Movies Who Faced Million Dollar Lawsuits

Published Mon Jun 03 2019 By Dibas Pratap Basnet
List Of The Popular Movies Who Faced Million Dollar Lawsuits

Hollywood generates a lot of buzzes every year, but not always for the right reasons. Lawsuits and also create a lot of controversies and usually cost the studio as well as the film millions of dollars in compensation and court-ordered payments.     

To add to this there are millions of lawsuits made each year against various films for various reasons. Mistakes by the studio and filmmakers can cause the studio a huge amount of money. Some of the most expensive lawsuits have cost studios 10’s of millions of dollars.

We have listed some of the most expensive lawsuits in history below

Films Who Faced The Most Expensive Lawsuits

The Cabin in the Woods

The horror spoof movie released in 2012 starred some of the biggest names in Hollywood like Chris Hemsworth, Kristen Connolly, etc. The film collected over $66,486,080 as of June 2019 and followed a group of heroes who wander into a cabin in the woods called the Brinkley house.

The plot of the film shared similarities with a book titled The Little White Trip: A Night in the Pines whose author Peter Gallagher did not take too kindly to the shared features of the film and book. In fact, he filed a $10 million lawsuit against the film, director Drew Goddard, Mutant Enemy Productions, and Lionsgate but the case was later dismissed in 2015.

10 Things I Hate About Life

The year 2012 saw another big name film face a lawsuit with the film 10 Things I Hate About Life which was sort of a sequel of the film 1999 film 10 Things I Hate About You.

The film was set to star Rachel Wood but she did not show up for filming after her pregnancy and faced a lawsuit from the production company of the film.

Wood faced a $30 million lawsuit from the company she fired back and gave a statement to The Hollywood Reporter where she said that she was willing to make the film but filming stopped after the producers ran out of money.


Based on the real-life kidnapping and murder of journalist Charles Horman and activist Frank Teruggi. The movie’s plot slightly implied that the US government was supporting rebels who oust the Marxist president, Salvador Allende Gossens.  

Even before the release of the film, they were targeted and publically attacked by the State Department. Later US officials demanded $60 million from the film claiming that it depicted the US Government as villains in real-world situations.

Straight Outta Compton

Biopics portray the real-life story of someone and a simple mistake in the film can cause a lot of offence especially when you portray someone as the bad guy.

The film revolves around the real-life story of hip-hop group N.W.A and portrays manager Jerry Heller as the villain. Heller filed a lawsuit a demanded $110 million claiming his image had been wrongfully portrayed on screen. The lawsuit reached a stalemate after Heller passed away a few months after filing the case.

Django Unchained

Quentin Tarantino is known for his liberal use of violence in his films to put it lightly and it comes as no surprise that one of his films would face lawsuit amounting to hundreds of millions.  

Tarantino's film faced various lawsuits and backlash
Tarantino's film faced various lawsuits and backlash

Oscar Colvin Jr. and his son Torrance J. Colvin filed a lawsuit against the movie in December 2015 claiming that Tarantino ripped off the plot from their screenplay named Freedom.   


The Disney super hit film Frozen came out in 2013 and crossed $1 billion in earnings. The film targeted mainly towards children must not have offended anyone right? Wrong, even the innocent Frozen managed to offend New Jersey named author Isabella Tanikumi.  

Tanikumi claimed that the plot of Frozen was taken from one of her memoirs. Her lawsuit was dismissed by Judge William Martini as he was not really convinced with the similarities between the movie and the memoir.

This Is Spinal Tap

Considered one of the best mockumentaries made in history, This Is Spinal Tap revolves around the story of a fictional band as it rises through the fame ladder. While receiving critical and fan acclaim from all over the world it faced lawsuits totaling $400 million.  

The mockumentary faced lawsuits totaling $400 million
The mockumentary faced lawsuits totaling $400 million

Firstly the film was sued by Vivendi and its subsidiary StudioCanal for around $125 million. After backing from all of the band members the total damages paid reached a jaw-dropping $400 million. 

The Conjuring

Supposedly based on real paranormal experiences The Conjuring is one of the best-known horror films in modern history. The film claimed that it was based on events that took place in real life however, Gerald Brittle claimed that the plot of the film was vastly similar to his book The Demonologist.   

He filed a lawsuit against the company for around $900 million claiming the film was a blatant copy of his work.

The Matrix And Terminator

Both sci-fi franchises suffered the trouble of lawsuits and had to fight legal battles to protect their funds. Their parent studio Warner Bros, producer Joel Silver, and the Wachowskis for over $1 billion.

The lawsuit did not bear fruit for the plaintiff as the judge did not rule in favor of the plaintiff and author Sophie Stewart did not even show up for the preliminary hearings.


The trend of sci-fi blockbusters having lawsuits filed against them follows suit when it comes to one of the highest earning movies of all time, Avatar.

Judges ruled in favor of the film
Judges ruled in favor of the film against various lawsuits

In fact, the multiple lawsuits that the movie faced almost amounted to $2.5 billion which was almost equal to its revenue in 2009 of $2.7 billion.  

Elijah Schkeiban a writer James Cameron to court citing similarities between his novel/screenplay franchise Bats and Butterflies. Similarly, Emil Malak, a restaurateur took the film to court for $100 million claiming similarities between his screenplay Terra Incognita and Avatar.

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