You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Axium files for bankruptcy

Failure hits biz in paycheck

Axium Intl., the entertainment industry’s third-largest provider of payroll and accounting services, has closed unexpectedly and filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Axium shuttered operations Tuesday, a day after its lenders froze the company’s bank accounts. Immediate impact was unclear, but some of the frozen funds included paychecks for film projects.

Director Charlie Matthau told Daily Variety that much of the money he was owed on the recently completed indie drama “Baby O” was frozen Tuesday.

“I was supposed to go pick up a $75,000 check from the DGA, until they told me there was this problem, that Axium had gone out of business and all the accounts were frozen, ” said the helmer, son of the late Walter Matthau. “I feel totally violated, and I’m hoping that the Guild will be able to help me.”

Matthau said Axium notified him recently that the money had been wired into his account.

Popular on Variety

“In fact, they’d done no such thing, and they were hiding this 400-pound gorilla of bankruptcy,” he added. “Because of that memo, I hope that the City Attorney or District Attorney looks into this. It has affected me and likely a whole lot of other people.”

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing is designed to govern the liquidation of company assets. Axium reps were not available for comment Tuesday, and the headquarters offices on Wilshire Boulevard were shuttered.

Axium president Ruben Rodriguez had left the firm. Axium employees were told Monday not to come to work until further notice, and if in contact with their clients, to tell them that Axium could no longer process their business.

Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, SAG’s deputy national exec director and general counsel, said in a statement, “Screen Actors Guild is investigating the situation and will take every action possible to protect the interests of our members. While we are closely following the status of Axium, it is important to bear in mind that payment to talent is ultimately the responsibility of the employers and not the payroll companies they choose to engage.”

Axium’s recent work included providing the payroll services for “Grace Is Gone,” “The Savages,” “Feast of Love” and “Babel.”

A veteran accountant at a production company who regularly used Axium for projects said he was completely stunned by the bankruptcy.

“I never saw this coming or imagined that this could happen,” the exec said. “Axium had a terrific budget system, and software that allowed you access to records for all of the productions you did over the past several years. If that software is frozen, I don’t know what I’m going to do.”

(Dave McNary contributed to this report.)

More Scene


    Donna Karan, Mary-Louise Parker Honored at David Lynch Foundation's Women of Vision Awards

    Donna Karan, Mary-Louise Parker and Deborra-Lee Furness were celebrated for their charitable work at the David Lynch Foundation’s 2019 Women of Vision Awards. “We are all being guided to come together as one. There is so much chaos in the world right now,” Karan said, while accepting her Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual luncheon on [...]

  • Bill Hader

    Bill Hader, Greg Berlanti, Margie Cohn and Cindy Holland Inducted Into Variety Hall of Fame

    Variety’s annual Hall of Fame ceremony mixed comedy, gratitude and warmth at the annual awards ceremony Tuesday night at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills. Because the class of 2019 celebrates technical innovation and achievement across film, TV, digital, video games and music. The honorees — Greg Berlanti, Bill Hader, Cindy Holland, Dametra Johnson-Marletti, [...]

  • Billy Porter FNAA

    Billy Porter Explains Why Fashion 'Can and Should' Be Activism

    On Tuesday in New York City, a handful of fashion’s marquee names, including Kenneth Cole, Tommy Hilfiger, Steve Madden and Pete Nordstrom, and many of its muses, including Billy Porter, Lena Waithe, Adriana Lima and Paris Hilton, gathered to celebrate the annual Footwear News Achievement Awards — or, as it’s more colloquially dubbed, the “Shoe Oscars.” Activism and the potential for designers to spur [...]

  • Tiffany Haddish Black Mitzvah

    Barbra Streisand Gives Tiffany Haddish Star of David Necklace for Her 'Black Mitzvah'

    Tiffany Haddish rang in her 40th birthday Tuesday night by celebrating her black and Jewish heritage with a star-studded “Black Mitzvah” party. One of Haddish’s famous friends, Barbra Streisand, was noticeably absent from the festivities, but sent the comedian a special memento for the occasion. “She got me this beautiful Star of David,” Haddish told [...]

  • Kasi Lemmons

    'Harriet' Director Kasi Lemmons Weighs In on Julia Roberts Casting Controversy

    Eddie Murphy, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nia Long and “Harriet” filmmaker Kasi Lemmons were honored for their contributions to the industry Monday night at the inaugural celebration of black cinema by the Critics Choice Association. And as the event, held at the Landmark Annex in Los Angeles, looked back on how far people of color have come [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content