Bonnie Aarons, known for playing the demonic entity in the horror film “The Nun,” has filed a lawsuit against Warner Bros., alleging that the studio has concealed the profits it has made using her likeness, resulting in a lack of adequate compensation.
The lawsuit, first reported by THR, names the WB, New Line Cinema and Scope Productions LLC for breach of contract, breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and improper accounting. Aarons claims they have “exploited the talent, creativity and image of Bonnie Aarons… achieving enormous financial success without adequately compensating her under her contract.”
According to the lawsuit, Aarons’ contract provided for a fixed compensation of $71,500 for his work on “The Nun,” plus potential box office bonuses that ultimately earned him other $175,000“but also required that Ms. Aarons receive a share of Warner Bros.’s gross receipts from the sale of products exploiting her image“.
The lawsuit alleges that instead of transparent accounting and payment, Warner Bros. hides Aarons’ true amount of merchandising revenue while continuing to exploit it.
“The Nun,” as the lawsuit points out, has been a huge success for Warner Bros., grossing $365 million worldwide after its release in 2018, becoming the highest-grossing film in the lucrative “The Conjuring” universe. This was more than enough to justify a sequel, “The Nun II”, in which Aarons will reprise the role of the Demonic Nun and which will be released on September 8th. However, according to Aarons’ lawsuit, the figures related to merchandising are less transparent.
The lawsuit claims that, between May 12, 2019 and September 30, 2022, WB sent Aarons’ representatives a series of written statements showing the actress’ share of the merchandising revenue, “but which were inconsistent with Warner Bros.’ extensive merchandising activities related to the character of Ms. Aarons“.
According to the lawsuit, subsequent attempts by Aarons’ representatives to obtain more adequate documentation from the WB on the matter did not receive “substantial” responses.