29
Nov
2020

EXCLUSIVE: Sylvester Stallone never in a position to claim Rocky profits

Phil Jay 14/06/2020
Rocky Balboa Sylvester Stallone

📸 Chartoff-Winkler / MGM

In a story WBN has followed closely. the shocking contract handed to Sylvester Stallone to make Rocky makes for grim reading for the Hollywood star.

At the time a struggling actor with no name to speak of, Stallone was desperately trying to have his script about an underdog boxer-turned-loan shark named Rocky Balboa into a movie.

Helped by agents Craig T. Rumor and Larry Kubik, that dream eventually became a reality for Stallone. But it’s the nature of the terms agreed which hurt ‘Sly’ the most.

Stallone says he gets nothing from the profits of the first three movies and doesn’t ‘have one percent of the franchise to leave to his kids’.

Understandable to be feeling this way about a series that has cleared 1.65 billion dollars in green. But as the late Rumar’s son Chris informed WBN, Stallone as never going to be in a position to claim any future profits.

In the 1970s, an unknown actor would only ever be offered a flat fee for his work. Acting, directing, or writing. This was the case for Stallone during those six films.

Outlining his reasoning, Rumar exclusively told World Boxing News: “I think what (WBN) wrote originally is great and I believe you are correct that the Hollywood system, even today, does favor the studios and producers in terms of long term profits over actors.

“I also agree with Mr. Stallone 100% on his overall position,” he stated.

Sylvester Stallone Rocky 1976
📸 Chartoff-Winkler / MGM

“My stepmother, Nancy Rumar was married to my father for over 25 years and is even more intimately aware of the details regarding my father’s representation of Mr. Stallone, the production of Rocky, his complaints about franchise royalties, and his failure to pay my father and Mr. Kubik for breaking his contract with them.

“However, I must again point out that ability to dictate long term royalties in the film industry is based on star power and projected earnings.

“In 1975 Mr. Stallone had neither of these. He was a no-name actor that wrote what turned out to be an iconic movie franchise.

“My father and Mr. Kubik secured for him the best possible deal at the time based on who Mr. Stallone was in terms of his status in the film industry.

“Had they demanded anything more than the standard contract for acting and writing, this film would have never been made. Mr. Stallone was in no position to dictate long term or future royalties for basically what was an unknown commodity.”

SYLVESTER STALLONE vs BOXING TODAY

Comparing Sylvester Stallone’s bid to maximize his stake in the Rocky Balboa project to boxing today, Rumar continued: “All entertainment from sports to music operates under this model.

“An unknown talent, without a track record of earnings, will not garner max or royalty-based contracts.

“I am sure that in the business of boxing that you cover, talented new boxers cannot command huge contracts and massive shares of PPV sales like an established boxer like Canelo Alvarez or Floyd Mayweather.


“If we are to believe Mr. Stallone about his Rocky contract, then Mike Tyson, after his first three fights should have been making $5 million per fight, controlling the majority of the PPV profits, and been the main event at MSG circa 1985.

“We both know that would have never happened in the boxing industry.

“All I want is the truth (or as much of the truth as possible) to come out about Mr. Stallone the Rocky franchise. Furthermore, that’s the least I can do to honor my father,” he concluded.

Phil Jay is Editor of WBN. An Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay