Sure, delightfully derided Uwe Boll wants to make a searing, serious movie about the Sudanese genocide. But he also wants actor Billy Zane to pay him $450,000, and is suing him for said money — the result of a dispute over the screwed-up distribution of Boll’s 2005 film BloodRayne. In a recent interview I asked Boll about the lawsuit, and whether it’s had an effect in trying to secure distribution for his forthcoming film, Postal.
“I think the whole thing with Romar Entertainment, where Billy Zane was a partner, was totally a disaster for me,” says Boll. “I was very damaged because we had a contract for 2,000 screens and we got 800, and the 800 screens were not the best screens. And everybody who looks into the box office performance in North America knows that there are around 1,000 screens or theaters that make money, and the rest of the theaters are disasters, let’s say it this way. So if you run in New York in the E-Walk or in the Empire, you make $30,000 or $40,000 the first weekend, even with a weak movie. But you run elsewhere and you make maybe $500. And the theater is actually happy that they made $500 with you, but with a first-screen average of $500 on a new release, you’re dead. And the major companies, of course, are running their movies everywhere at the same time, so it evens it out, but in the case of BloodRayne we had maybe 100 good screens and 700, like, really bad screens. So then it turned out that Billy Zane took $450,000 out of the P&A budget as his private commission. And I told him, look, I want that money back. And he didn’t want to pay it back, so I had to sue him, and now we see in court what will happen. But I don’t think that he has any chance to win that lawsuit. I think he should pay me the money back.”