When Bruce Willis licensed his image to Polish vodka brand Sobieski for marketing in the U.S., he was paid in shares of its parent company, Belvedere SA. In exchange for use of his tough guy mug, the "Looper" star got a percentage of the French liquor company.
But Willis' legal team also arranged for a cash payment in case shares of the company fell below a certain threshold. And since they did, Belvedere SA now owes Bruce Willis more than $26 million dollars, the Wall Street Journal reports.
But despite the deal's multi-million dollar potential, Willis might stand to lose money. His lawyers and other creditors will likely discuss the deal at a meeting in Paris on Tuesday.
Upstart quipped that Willis "should have taken a page from entrepreneur Bethenny Frankel" and made his own vodka. The former "Real Housewives of New York City" star launched the Skinnygirl margaritas brand, then sold it to Jim Beam for an undisclosed, ostensibly large, sum.
And it's been done before: Dan Aykroyd's Crystal Head vodka caused a splash when it was released.
In his new movie, "Looper," Willis is a futuristic assassin that goes back in time to eliminate his younger self, played -- convincingly, it would seem -- by a prematurely grizzled Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Correction: A previous version of this article mistook Belvedere SA, the French liquor company that owns Sobieski, for Belvedere vodka, a brand that is owned by Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy.
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Train, Drops Of Jupiter
Apologies for getting the song stuck in your head again. This summer, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/30/drops-of-jupiter-wine_n_887657.html" target="_hplink">Train released Drops of Jupiter wine</a>, a 2009 Petite Syrah. The jammy wine was oh-so-slighty more complex that many of the others we sampled. Ray offered that this one was at least a "two-note wine." It's a cheerful, happy wine. In other words, if you had to put a pop song into a wine, this would be it. Coincidence? We think not.
Food Network Entwine
Earlier this year, Food Networked partnered with Wente Vineyards to release <a href="http://www.entwine-wines.com/" target="_hplink">Entwine</a>. The wines, which all retail for $12.99, were all perfectly drinkable, but often one-note and without much depth. They are beginner wines, or wines for when you don't want to think too much about what you're drinking. Although the only compliment Ray had for the 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon was that it was "not flawed," the other varietals improved from there. The 2009 Merlot was a "happy-go-lucky, fruity wine" with very low astringency. In the same vein, the 2010 Pinot Grigio was also sweet and fruit-forward. The Chardonnay, however, was the belle of the ball. We tasted four Chardonnays and this one (2010) was deemed the unanimous winner...of a pretty weak pool.
Dave Matthews, Dreaming Tree
For those of you rusty on your Dave Matthews Band knowledge, the 1998 album "Before These Crowded Streets" included the song, "The Dreaming Tree." Made in partnership with winemaker Steve Reeder and Constellations Wines, Dreaming Tree Wines (all $15.00) are available as a 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2010 Chardonnay, and red wine blend titled "Crush." Overall, the Dave Matthews wines were some of our favorites of the whole crop. Crush (2009) was a bit on the sweet side, but the Chardonnay was decent and the Cabernet Sauvignon was downright good. It had some nice layers to it and several of us said we would purchase it for our own collection.
Banana Republic has teamed up with Clos du Bois to release two limited-edition holiday wines, <a href="http://closdubois.com/" target="_hplink">available for purchase</a> starting November 1. Although we can appreciate the lovely silhouette sketches on the label, these wines prove that Banana should stick to what it knows best: clothes. The 2010 Chardonnay ($16.99) was fairly typical of other California Chardonnays -- very oaky with a bit of a banana aroma. It could have been worse, but it could have been way, way better. The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon ($18.99) could maybe work with a big steak. When there are notes of wet leaves, there's just not so much salvaging one can do.
Disney Sogno d'Italia
Disney sells its brand new Sogno d'Italia wine, made by Placido in Tuscany, <a href="http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2011/09/get-first-taste-of-new-wine-exclusively-for-disney-parks-at-this-year%E2%80%99s-epcot-international-food-wine-festival" target="_hplink">exclusively in Disney Parks</a> for $6 per glass or $16.95 by the bottle. On the 2010 Chianti, "You wouldn't be unhappy if you weren't paying attention," Ray observed. The 2010 Pinot Grigio was similarly "pleasantly nondescript," and was in fact the best of the three Pinot Grigios we sampled.
Bonus! Ron de Jeremy Rum
"That's actually pretty good rum...It is kind of disconcerting that it's good." said Ray. Enough said.