Director Barry Sonnenfeld owes his former agency, United Talent Agency (UTA), $325,000—its cut of his fee on his last film “Men in Black 3,” reports The Hollywood Reporter.Despite the fact that he left the agency, arbitration earlier this year determined Sonnenfeld owed UTA its share of his compensation for the film.
UTA brokered the deal for Sonnenfeld to direct the original “Men in Black” back in 1995 for a fee of $3.25 million, with UTA receiving a 10 per cent commission. Sonnenfeld left the agency for Creative Artists Agency (CAA) shortly after.
When Sonnenfeld agreed to direct “Men in Black 2,” CAA brokered him a $20 million fee, but he still had to pay UTA the same 10 per cent of the original deal, $325,000.
With “Men in Black 3,” U.S District Court Judge S. James Otero ordered Sonnenfeld again pay UTA 10 per cent on $3.25 million of his $7 million directing fee.
Sonnenfeld argued that the deal brokered on “MiB3” was “from scratch” since Columbia Pictures looked into hiring other directors for the job, but back in March arbitrator Howard Weitzman determined Sonnenfeld still owed his former agency.
Despite Sonnenfeld’s disagreement, Otero held up Weitzman’s decision.
“Men in Black 3” stars Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, and Josh Brolin. The pic debuted over Memorial Day weekend and has since grossed over $621 million worldwide.
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