Got a spare $3.7 billion lying around? Check down the back of the sofa, that's where the small change likes to hide. If you can scrape that much together, you'll find yourself owning MGM Pictures.
We had previously reported (http://www.movie-moron.com/?p=9429
) on MGM's financial woes a few months ago on this very site. The situation was that the investors who were owed money would be needing to hold off on calling those debts until at least February. Well, sadly, that hasn't helped.
The statement reads:
[MGM is] beginning a process to explore various strategic alternatives including operating as a standalone entity, forming strategic partnerships and evaluating a potential sale of the company. The lenders took this action in support of the company's ongoing efforts to develop and evaluate long-term strategic alternatives to maximize value for its stakeholders. MGM appreciates the continued support of its lender group for the process it is undertaking.
Looking at MGM's track record for this year, their chances of survival were always slim - the only film they've managed to put out this year is the abysmal Fame
remake. Next year's schedule is even more bleak - March's Hot Tub Time Machine
(?), October's The Zookeeper
and the Red Dawn
remake in November. Add to that the gargantuan budget for The Hobbit
looming and the next Bond flick getting pushed back until 2011, the right thing to do here is try and recoup what they can and bow out gracefully.
So what will this mean for those aforementioned blockbusters? Well, MGM only own half of the rights to The Hobbit
- a guaranteed cash cow if there ever was one - and the Bond franchise can generate money by putting on a tuxedo and winking at women across the room. Both of these franchises are completely safe and will be fought over viciously by the other major studios - namely Lionsgate, Time Warner and the Evil Empire itself, News Corp. What is not so clear is what's going to happen to the famous lion logo, the United Artists operation and the 4,000+ film library built up over the years. We'll keep you posted.
Until then, goodbye lion. It's been fun.