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Sony out of MGM's back catalog, 20th Century Fox in

Old 05-30-06, 08:19 PM
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Sony out of MGM's back catalog, 20th Century Fox in

From Reuters:

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. on Tuesday unveiled new plans to revitalize the movie studio by ending video and DVD distribution pacts with Sony Pictures Entertainment and reestablishing a TV sales division.

MGM said it signed a new worldwide video and DVD distribution pact with 20th Century Fox to consolidate sales efforts under one company.Previously MGM split video and DVD distribution between Fox overseas and Sony in domestic arenas.

For Sony, MGM's decision cuts both ways. Sony's home video business will lose lucrative distribution fees it would have earned for releasing titles from MGM's library of 4,000 movies and 10,000 TV episodes. However, Sony will benefit if MGM makes more money because Sony owns 20 percent of the company.

Sony also secured a deal to extend a film co-production and distribution pact with MGM for one more James Bond film beyond November's release of "Casino Royale." Sony and MGM further agreed to co-produce and distribute a new "Pink Panther" comedy and other yet-to-be determined films.

Finally, MGM will continue supporting Sony's blu-ray DVD technology by releasing DVDs in the new video format.

"We have identified another important opportunity to build out our business by returning our worldwide television sales operations in-house and by consolidating our home entertainment releases with a single distributor," MGM chairman and CEO Harry Sloan said.

Sony has a seat on MGM's board, meaning it had a say in the decision.

The moves follow MGM's March announcement to again begin distributing movies to theaters on its own, and it comes about seven months after Sloan took the reins of the company.

Venerable MGM, known for producing movies like "The Wizard of Oz" and "Gone with the Wind" during Hollywood's Golden Age, was acquired last year by the Sony-led consortium for roughly $3 billion in cash, plus assumed debt.

Private equity investors Texas Pacific Group and Providence Equity Partners together own roughly 50 percent of MGM, Sony and cable TV company Comcast Corp. each own about 20 percent. Other major investors include DLJ Merchant Banking, Quadrangle Group and Sloan.

Sony Pictures is part of Japanese electronics company Sony Corp, and Fox is part of News Corp.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060531/...NlYwN5bmNhdA--
Old 05-30-06, 09:00 PM
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Hmm, maybe I won't have to suffer with the Richard Burton/John Hurt version of 1984 being out of print for too much longer now...
Old 05-30-06, 09:02 PM
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Since Sony was rumored to be ignoring the catalog titles of MGM, this is potentially a great bit of news for movie lovers. Let's hope ....
Old 05-30-06, 09:06 PM
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This is VERY interesting should Fox decide to support HD DVD one day.
Old 05-30-06, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Adboy151
Venerable MGM, known for producing movies like "The Wizard of Oz" and "Gone with the Wind" during Hollywood's Golden Age, was acquired last year by the Sony-led consortium for roughly $3 billion in cash, plus assumed debt.
And I thought the WHOLE reason for spending the $3b was so Sony would have access to those 4000 movies and 10000 TV episodes for distribution. (At least, that's what all of the press indicated at the time.)

I'm confused. Why would Sony spend all of that $$$$ and then allow Fox to distribute the stuff? They've paid $3 billion for 20% of video profits and a James Bond film? And, is MGM still locked in as an exclusive Blu-ray distributor (as, I assume, Sony would want them)? Or is Fox allowed to call the shots and release MGM properties on HD-DVD, if they wish?

This whole thing doesn't make any sense to me... anyone have any insight?
Old 05-30-06, 09:46 PM
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Fox isn't a part of HD DVD...yet. If they were, I would assume MGM would go along with them, hence my comment.
Old 05-30-06, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by bboisvert
And I thought the WHOLE reason for spending the $3b was so Sony would have access to those 4000 movies and 10000 TV episodes for distribution. (At least, that's what all of the press indicated at the time.)

I'm confused. Why would Sony spend all of that $$$$ and then allow Fox to distribute the stuff? They've paid $3 billion for 20% of video profits and a James Bond film? And, is MGM still locked in as an exclusive Blu-ray distributor (as, I assume, Sony would want them)? Or is Fox allowed to call the shots and release MGM properties on HD-DVD, if they wish?

This whole thing doesn't make any sense to me... anyone have any insight?
I think Sony's big mistake was not outright buying MGM themselves instead of going into this consortium. They could have folded MGM/United Artists in with Columbia, Tristar, and Sony Pictures Classics and had total control.
Old 05-30-06, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by digitalfreaknyc
Fox isn't a part of HD DVD...yet. If they were, I would assume MGM would go along with them, hence my comment.
Right, I know that they aren't yet...

... I guess my question is why Sony got involved in this and spent so much $$$$ if MGM can essentially just walk away from them. Sony got into a huge bidding war w/Warner over the MGM catalog and paid out a ton of cash, paid off debts, etc... and then a year later, right as Sony is about to launch their new format, MGM walks away??? I guess I don't understand how this whole thing is structured. I assumed that Sony at the very least had a majority vote -- and therefore essentially had control of the company.
Old 05-30-06, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by bboisvert
Right, I know that they aren't yet...

... I guess my question is why Sony got involved in this and spent so much $$$$ if MGM can essentially just walk away from them. Sony got into a huge bidding war w/Warner over the MGM catalog and paid out a ton of cash, paid off debts, etc... and then a year later, right as Sony is about to launch their new format, MGM walks away??? I guess I don't understand how this whole thing is structured. I assumed that Sony at the very least had a majority vote -- and therefore essentially had control of the company.
It's possible that since Sony knows WB is format-agnostic that they wanted to do anything they could to secure those rights away from WB until such a time that it might not matter any more. ? I'm completely speculating and that might not make sense.
Old 05-30-06, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by bboisvert
And I thought the WHOLE reason for spending the $3b was so Sony would have access to those 4000 movies and 10000 TV episodes for distribution. (At least, that's what all of the press indicated at the time.)

I'm confused. Why would Sony spend all of that $$$$ and then allow Fox to distribute the stuff? They've paid $3 billion for 20% of video profits and a James Bond film? And, is MGM still locked in as an exclusive Blu-ray distributor (as, I assume, Sony would want them)? Or is Fox allowed to call the shots and release MGM properties on HD-DVD, if they wish?

This whole thing doesn't make any sense to me... anyone have any insight?
My understanding is MGM is up and running itself again, and Sony is a minority shareholder. Here's a breakdown of who spent what in the MGM-Sony deal. In short, sounds like Sony's screwed up.

Providence Equity Partners - $525 million
Texas Pacific Group - $350 million.
Sony and Comcast Corp - $300 million each.
DLJ Merchant Banking Partners - $125 million
JP Morgan Chase - leading a bank syndicate to provide as much as $4.25 billion more in senior debt financing together with Credit Suisse First Boston.

Last edited by DthRdrX; 05-30-06 at 10:23 PM.
Old 05-30-06, 10:23 PM
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One interesting thing to consider here is that 20th Century Fox has licensed titles to Criterion (Naked Lunch, Kagemusha, and Young Mr. Lincoln are a few examples). I wonder if this deal would allow them to license out MGM titles.
Old 05-31-06, 01:27 AM
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OK Fox......




FROM BEYOND




please?
Old 05-31-06, 01:54 AM
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This is great news. Let anyone other than Sony have control of MGMs catalog. Let's see some justice done to some of those titles.

Let the lion roar again.
Old 05-31-06, 01:55 AM
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Anyone know if will affect the Upcoming Bond DVD's?
Old 05-31-06, 02:28 AM
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I'm just off the blower to Hiratoa Komitsu at Sony Japan Inc. and he's confirmed they are very happy with the new deal because Sony Computer Entertainment has retained the PlayStation3 game transfer rights to the entire back catalogue of Golan-Globus's Cannon Films from 1990 onwards from MGM-JP Morgan. He said that the ground-breaking artistic quality of the back catalogue would be particularly suited to the PS3.

That's a good deal

Old 05-31-06, 04:19 AM
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Whats in MGMs TV library that hasn't been on DVD?
Old 05-31-06, 06:30 AM
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I am glad to hear that MGM is back in business. I thought they had been completely taken over by Sony. Long live Leo the Lion!
Old 05-31-06, 07:11 AM
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Great News any time anyone other than Sony controls titles its a great thing !!
Old 05-31-06, 08:57 AM
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So, I assume that means that the previously-announced (then postponed/cancelled) Mad Max Superbit will now never happen.
Old 05-31-06, 09:28 AM
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Please get the MIDNIGHT MOVIES series back up and running...
Old 05-31-06, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by FILMCZY
Please get the MIDNIGHT MOVIES series back up and running...
EXACTLY! That was my immediate reaction.
Old 05-31-06, 12:09 PM
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"Please get the MIDNIGHT MOVIES series back up and running..."

I THIRD THE MOTION!!!
Old 05-31-06, 12:17 PM
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I'm very, very confused. But if this means the missing Leone movies will finally get R1 releases, then I'm OK with that.
Old 05-31-06, 03:07 PM
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I don't care who does it as long as they come out and they're properly done.
Old 05-31-06, 03:55 PM
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Originally posted by Detective Thorn
One interesting thing to consider here is that 20th Century Fox has licensed titles to Criterion (Naked Lunch, Kagemusha, and Young Mr. Lincoln are a few examples). I wonder if this deal would allow them to license out MGM titles.
It appears that way. Here's a quote from the Hollywood Reporter:
"When the MGM board, which includes Sony representation, met Tuesday to consider the issue, Fox was touted as a better alternative because it has invested heavily in third-party distribution, making it a potentially more favorable purveyor of MGM fare."

You can read the entire article here.

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