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…why doesn’t Warner Bros. even buy the MGM/UA studio?

Discussion in 'The Entertainment Board' started by Nate Spidgewood, Jul 17, 2010.

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  1. Nate Spidgewood

    Nate Spidgewood New Member

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    Okay, I’m new to the forums as I was a cartoon fan, but I’m confused. Personally, there are so many news going on lately about MGM’s financial troubles and their creditors’ decision to cancel/delay the studio’s potential movies.

    It would’ve been great news to see Time Warner/Warner Bros. acquire MGM, considering that they already own the studio’s pre-1986 library through Turner Entertainment, and that their New Line Cinema was co-producing Peter Jackson’s anticipated “The Hobbit” film series with MGM. In addition to that, WB owns the pre-1982 Orion Pictures library and tries to purchase MGM in 2004. Also, WB has distributed MGM/UA’s home video releases throughout the 1990s, even though Fox distributes them nowadays. Plus, Christopher Nolan (of Batman fame) wanted to make a James Bond movie.

    So as long as WB purchases MGM, it would have made the combined libraries of said studios the largest film library in the world, with all of the Warner Bros., MGM, United Artists, Orion, RKO, PolyGram, Cannon, Samuel Goldwyn, New Line, Hanna-Barbera, Lorimar, Rankin-Bass, Castle Rock, Saul Zaentz, etc. catalogs combined.

    But sadly, the top contenders for MGM now are Lionsgate, Spyglass and Summit (the latter known for the horrible Twilight series) which has got to be the worst thing ever. I’m sure Warner Bros. would step in and restructure MGM which would be the biggest win-win situation, but their $1.5 billion buyout offer will remain on the table, even though the creditors hated that bid, viewing it as "too low."

    I was pretty excited back in March when I saw that WB had outbid Lionsgate and Access to buy MGM/UA for $1.5 billion. I mean, reuniting the MGM name with the studio’s pre-1986 library acquired by Ted Turner would make life less confusing for movie fans.

    So anyway, I'm now surprised MGM wasn't sold to Warners. Why doesn't this happen?
     
    #1 Nate Spidgewood, Jul 17, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 17, 2010
  2. Lord Dalek

    Lord Dalek Uncreative Hack

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    Warner made the highest bid for MGM but it wasn't high enough (the consortium controlling MGM wanted $2B) to seal the deal. So MGM closed the auction with no takers.
     
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  3. The Clown Prince

    The Clown Prince My God carries a big Hammer
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    There is a lot of potential use in MGM's other properties, but it was clear that the ones WB had their eyes on the most were The Hobbit and James Bond properties. Robocop is one that MGM tried to get up and running with a remake, but stalled and fizzled out because of the financial issues.

    Basically it coms down to MGM valuing their property more than what others want to pay or what they think it's worth. So right now, things continue to get worse and worse. Apparently there is some internal pressure at MGM going on to sell The Hobbit rights outright to WB. There is a lot of movement with Peter Jackson and the studio right now with it. They've done all the pre-production work and are ready to film now. It's looking like Peter Jackson will direct, but the latest on that is he'll do it if they can fast track it and start filming this year for a December 2012 and December 2013 release. If something can be done and MGM will sell those rights, it'll happen or have to happen this year.

    It's really sad this has to happen. The longer this goes on, the more chance the Daniel Craig continuing as Bond gets less likely.
     
  4. launchpad20

    launchpad20 Active Member

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    I would not be happy if Summit (AKA, The 'Twilight' Studio) gobbled up MGM. (I say Comcast should gobble up Summit since E! loves 'Twilight' to death.) I've always thought that Time Warner should grab the rest of MGM since they own half of their library.
     
  5. Nate Spidgewood

    Nate Spidgewood New Member

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    I agree. Heck, even Comcast should possibly merge Summit into NBC Universal which they recently elected to purchase! And yes, Twilight IS the worst series ever. Anyway, I've always been keeping an eye on the MGM sale, but I'm surprised Carl Icahn is going to merge his recently acquired Lionsgate studio with MGM which would be a worst case scenario. It would be even worse than Kirk Kerkorian's constant takeovers of the old MGM studio. I've always thought Warner Bros. is a perfect choice to buy MGM.

    By saying that, WB was a distributor for MGM's home entertainment unit since the MGM-Pathe merger in the early 1990s (even though 20th Century Fox was MGM's current home video distributor). If you look closely at the back cover of each MGM/UA video release, you can see a small text that says "Available exclusively through Warner Home Video," so it means Warner Bros. distributed MGM's releases on video throughout the 1990s.
     
  6. Daikun

    Daikun Long Live the Fighter!
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    WB wouldn't buy MGM because the company poorly runs its finances. It has been through numerous buyers over the decades (it was even in the hands of WB's child Turner at a brief point), and each one had to sell it away because they were losing money like a vacuum. Even MGM's own sister companies suffered the same fate. (Remember Orion Pictures? I wonder why you don't see movies from them anymore...?)

    WB couldn't buy MGM some years back because they were too busy with their AOL purchase, and that failed merger left them completely battered. If they tried to go after MGM like everyone else did, it'd just be another money drain.
     
  7. The Clown Prince

    The Clown Prince My God carries a big Hammer
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    Reading my post from above, I forgot to mention that the reason there is internal pressure going on within MGM to sell The Hobbit rights to WB is because right now there is no money coming in to help pay the creditors. The sale of The Hobbit rights would at least bring in some money and bring some kind of temporary relief.

    Sony on the other hand is hoping to outright by the James Bond rights. They already have handled the foreign distribution for some time and their ties with the 'Bond' franchise already would make sense. Honestly at this point, I can't really see any other studio but Sony to get the 'Bond' franchise. However, unlike The Hobbit rights MGM knows that without 'Bond', no one else will really want to pony up the kind of money they're looking for to buy MGM. So I don't see them letting 'Bond' go anytime soon.
     
  8. TheVileOne

    TheVileOne Peace Loving Shinobi
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    Sony needs to make something happen with Bond already so we can get Daniel Craig back.
     
  9. Nephets

    Nephets Double the HASHTAGS

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    My questions is,what would happen if say Sony bought the Bond franchise,WB got the Hobbit and say FOX obtained Robocop remake? What would happen to the other properties that MGM has? If Lionsgate bought the rest,would that mean certain releases under MGM that were released under FOX and WB be now under the control of Lionsgate? Or would say the special edition of Pumpkin Head be under distribution by FOX?
     
  10. Rick Jones

    Rick Jones Hero Fan
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    I totally agree.
     
  11. Nate Spidgewood

    Nate Spidgewood New Member

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    Sony is really keen on the 007 rights, of course, but the franchise was originally a property of United Artists, which was gobbled up by MGM in the early 1980s, so MGM controls the series. Also, when MGM/UA was sold to the Sony-led consortium in 2005, they begun making movies in conjunction with Columbia TriStar. These include the last two Bond movies with Daniel Craig.
     
  12. Daikun

    Daikun Long Live the Fighter!
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    Everybody wins. ;)
     
  13. BartWinkle

    BartWinkle Active Member

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    Is there any chance that MGM will get any of its pre-'86 properties back, or does Turner-WB have the rights in perpetuity?
     
  14. Lord Dalek

    Lord Dalek Uncreative Hack

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    With a few exceptions, the latter.
     
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  15. Nate Spidgewood

    Nate Spidgewood New Member

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    Ok, my choice is if MGM fails to cure its financial issues, they'll shut down as a privately held studio and sell off its assets. They'd sell the MGM name, logo and library to WB along with the Hobbit rights, while Sony gets 50% of the James Bond rights (no joke), and Cruise and Wagner acquire United Artists under a group of private equity firms. We'd look forward to that, shouldn't we?
     
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  16. BartWinkle

    BartWinkle Active Member

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    Just out of curiosity, what are the exceptions?
     
  17. Jeff Harris

    Jeff Harris Creator/Webmaster, TXB

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    The pre-96 MGM titles Warner Bros/Turner DOESN'T own are the only exceptions. Some are in the public domain. Turner/Warner Bros. doesn't own Guys and Dolls either. Others MGM just had limited distribution windows to like State of the Union, Blowup, Rock & Rule, Breakin', and Pink Floyd: The Wall, and international rights to some films like The Wind and the Lion and Network. Aside from Gilligan's Island and the a.a.p. library, they don't own United Artists' output of films and television shows either.

    The Flipper television series, the Fame television series, Kids Incorporated, the newer version of Sea Hunt, and the 80s version of The Twilight Zone also aren't owned by Turner/Warner Bros.

    But yeah, 98% of MGM's pre-86 library is and will always be owned by Turner/Warner Bros.
     
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  18. Nexonius

    Nexonius Ten, count em', ten years!

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    Turner/Warner Bros. does infact own some of UA's movies from MGM. I believe 2 or 3.

    And 1976's Network was a MGM/United Artists production, long before they merged. So both WB and MGM hold rights to the movie.
     
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  19. Jeff Harris

    Jeff Harris Creator/Webmaster, TXB

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    A few:

    The Prisoner of Zenda (both of 'em)
    Around the World in Eighty Days
    Bugs Bunny: Superstar
    The Lorimar-made films distributed by UA
    The Saul Zaentz films distributed by UA (Warners own the Zaentz library)

    I noted that earlier. That one is a strange case of ownership.

    Warner Bros./Turner owns US rights, MGM owns international rights and assigning 20th Century Fox international home distribution rights and Columbia theatrical rights,
     
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  20. Lord Dalek

    Lord Dalek Uncreative Hack

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    Warner Bros. owns Blow-up.
     
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