As the pic’s slogan said, “There are no clean getaways”. So actors get screwed out of dough not only happens all the time on indies but now even on faux indies that win Best Picture Oscars. Tommy Lee Jones is suing for $10 million which he claims is what he’s still owed for No Country For Old Men. News reports say the lawsuit against Paramount Pictures and N.M. Classics was filed Thursday in Bexar County District Court in San Antonio, Texas. And it’s a revealing look behind-the-scenes at Paramount accounting…
According to the San Antonio Express-News, Jones in the lawsuit claims he signed a contract with N.M. Classics on April 3, 2006, for a reduced upfront fee in exchange for backend and bonuses if the film did well financially. It wound up winning the Oscar and making $160M worldwide. As part of his contract negotiations, Jones insisted on favored nations with producer Scott Rudin and writers/directors/producers Joel and Ethan Coen regarding all contract terms, including the percentage of box office bonuses he would receive. But Jones argues that in December 2007 — a month after the film’s nationwide release — Paramount told him that the contract contained a “mistake” regarding the deduction for home video expenses. Jones claims the studio revealed it was aware of the supposed error before he signed the contract. On January 10, Paramount contended there was a second “mistake” made, this time in the formula to determine box-office bonuses. He says he was fraudulently made to render his services under a contract the company knew contained mistakes, though they didn’t inform him of them until after the movie had been made, by which time it was too late.
Jones wants an outside auditor to determine how much he is actually owed.
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