Sunday, September 18, 2016

Bruce Willis's Yippee Ki-Yay Arbitration Award

Last week, Bruce Willis asked a Superior Court judge to affirm an arbitrator's award and enter it as a formal judgment against Benaroya Pictures in the amount of $5.8 million. An arbitrator found the head of a movie production company thoroughly non-credible after his misrepresentation about a film that died a week into shooting. The award found that the company and its alter ego breached a contract to pay Willis $8 million to star in an action thriller called Wake. Willis was to play a sociopath with a violent history attempting to reconnect with his estranged family at his brother's wake. Reportedly, Willis typically earns $6 million to $8 million to lead a feature film and as much as $3 million for a one or two-day cameo role. The defendant was a producer in more than 20 films, including a 2011 crime thriller called Catch .44 that starred Willis. In the deal for Wake, an escrow agreement was created under which the film company was to place payment in an escrow account before principal photography began. The account holder was to pay Willis a portion of the fee each week over the planned seven-week shooting schedule. The producer failed to find full financing for the $25 million project and managed to put only $3 million into escrow by the time production was abandoned. By that point, Willis already spent two days in front of the camera. Willis took the dispute to arbitration, claiming breach of the escrow agreement. The arbitrator found the producer negligently misrepresented the film was fully funded, but denied remaining tort claims and counterclaims. The producer asked the Superior Court to vacate the award because the arbitrator had gone too far in adding him personally as a defendant, despite being a non-signatory. See more in stories here-- and and