'Eulogy' Comedy Film Isn't Funny Anymore


     LOS ANGELES (CN) - The company behind Zooey Deschanel's comedy film "Eulogy" breached a 7-year-old settlement agreement by failing to pay a German film financier more than $500,000, the German company claims in court.
     Equity Pictures Medienfonds sued Myriad Pictures, of Santa Monica, on Monday in Federal Court.
     Equity claims Myriad breached a written contract in connection with "Eulogy," a $10 million comedy that featured Hank Azaria, Famke Janssen, Kelly Preston, Ray Romano and Debra Winger.
     Almost 12 years ago, Equity claims, it entered into an agreement with Myriad-owned Eulogy Distribution to provide 100 percent financing for the movie in exchange for repayment of 80 percent cut of the picture's budget no less than six months after the film was released.
     "Of this minimum guarantee payment, an amount equal to twenty percent (20%) of the budget, or $1,304,612.00, was secured by a corporate guarantee from Myriad itself (the 'Guarantee'). By the time the guarantee came due, Equity had received no proceeds from the picture, and Myriad failed and refused to pay the guarantee," the lawsuit states.
     In 2005, Equity says, it sued Myriad in state court and won a $1.3 million arbitration award, which was confirmed by a Superior Court judge in 2006.
     On June 6, 2007, the parties entered into a settlement agreement, Equity claims. It says that Myriad agreed to pay a settlement of $672,143.66 by the end of 2008, but "refused to honor its payment obligations and failed to timely make the settlement payment."
     "In an effort to resolve the matter amicably, Equity agreed to enter into a series of amendments to the settlement agreement, providing for various extended payment schedules, at Myriad's request," the 8-page complaint states.
     Equity claims that Myriad failed to keep up its end of the bargain and paid only $132,009.34 of the settlement. It claims that Myriad's most recent payment of $20,000 was more than a year ago - six months after the total settlement was due.
     Equity claims that Myriad owes it $540,133.66, plus annual interest 10 percent.
     Equity is represented by Gregory Fayer of Fayer Gipson.
     Myriad Pictures has been named as defendant in nine other lawsuits, according to the Courthouse News Service database.
     The company did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.