MGM DEBT HAS BEEN RESOLVED!

Discussion in 'DVD' started by SWFF, Sep 17, 2010.

  1. SWFF

    SWFF Screenwriter

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    Hope this means all those titles languishing in their "prison" will soon see the light of day. I know, thanks to DVDDrive-In, they've got a lot of genre flicks, (THE QUATERMASS EXPERIMENT, THE INCREDIBLE MELTING MAN, WITHOUT WARNING, etc), some remastered and ready to go, which occasionally end up airing on MGM-HD.

     

    MANIA: The light could be coming to an end of MGM's bankruptcy tunnel, with the Hollywood Reporter saying more than 100 holders of almost $4 billion in MGM have agreed to a seventh debt forbearance agreement which will exchange $450 million of debt for equity. Spyglass Entertainment is looking like the hero here with the company becoming a 5% stakeholder in MGM as part of the plan, with Spyglass co-toppers Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum to be installed as co-chairmen and co-CEOs.

     

    MGM thanked lenders on Wednesday for the latest debt forbearance agreement.

    "The lenders took this action in support of the company's ongoing efforts to evaluate long-term strategic alternatives to maximize value for its stakeholders," MGM said. "MGM appreciates the continued support of its lender group throughout this process."

     

    The potential resolution of the cash-strapped studio will unleash some genre properties onto the release slate, with pre-production for The Hobbit and the next James Bond adventure on hold indefinitely until this is worked out. Other high-profile MGM projects have likewise been put in holding patterns even with casts locked in and production in the can. Their Red Dawn remake was recently taken out of its November 26 release while Joss Whedon's Cabin in the Woods was taken off its January 14 release.
     
  2. DeWilson

    DeWilson Cinematographer

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    I'm not holding my breath - there's alot happen just to get their house in order.

     

    These old films are not as important as the Bond and Hobbit franchises - which are their top priority, not library titles
     
  3. ahollis

    ahollis Producer

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    I agree with you. They will need to get back to the business of making films again to build up a bank account before they even look at their vault. This most likely will not happen until sometime in the middle of next year.

     

    When they do focus on the vault again I see them going the route that Warner and Sony had done with the MOD's. I just hope it is not through Amazon, for that experiment is not working well. With the number of titles in their vault this seems the the best way to go to earn money quickly. Also Fox is making rumblings of doing their own MOD program next year so MGM could be a part of that.
     
     
  4. SWFF

    SWFF Screenwriter

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    I don't care how their vault titles come out as long as they come out. Yes, the ideal would be in the form of factory pressed DVDs, but, if they go the MOD route, all I ask is that they come out in their original aspect ratio, and, if possible, remasted, which with some of them has happened already.

     

    I understand MGM premeired a new remastered version of LIFEFORCE a few months ago on MGM-HD. A favorite title of mine if there ever was one.
     
  5. AlanBrom

    AlanBrom Second Unit

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    Well TROLL 2 is coming out on blu-ray, even before this news, so....
     
  6. SWFF

    SWFF Screenwriter

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    TROLL I like, especially since it's got Michael Moriarty, but TROLL 2, words escape me. I try, every now and then, to sit down and watch it, but I just can't stay with it. My saturation limit for that flick is about 20 minutes, any longer and I feel like I'm dying inside.
     
  7. Nebiroth

    Nebiroth Supporting Actor

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    There is no chance of MGM releasing niche titles from it's vaults. The other major studios, which are not in the dire financial position, are not releasing them with the possible exception of MOD programmes.

     

    The best you can expect from MGM is a re-churn of stuff they've already released with a focus on cash cow titles.

     

    They got burnt quite badly with the last wave of Midnite Movies AFAIK, so they just won't be going there again.

     

    Anyone thinking that titles like Incredible Melting Man will be coming to DVD anytime soon are fooling themselves. It's wishful thinking. The only way something like that will release is via MOD or getting licensed out, the way that Paramount did to Olive Films or an independent like Shout! Factory manage to get the rights.
     
  8. SWFF

    SWFF Screenwriter

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    Quote:



    As I mentioned before, I'm perfectly fine with this route, anything to get them out of MGM's maximum security prison. And, did they really lose money on those Midnite Movies? Jesus, I collected as many of those mothers as I could.
     
  9. ahollis

    ahollis Producer

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    Lifeforce is a possibility if MGM ever starts a normal releasing pattern again and I would reallly like to see it as a Blu-ray. The release of Troll 2 is directly connected to the fan worship of the documentary The Best Worst Movie. I think somebody must be on something to think that this title will sell many copies and it is decisions like this that keep titles, such as Lifeforce from seeing the DVD light.
     
  10. SWFF

    SWFF Screenwriter

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    I've still got LIFEFORCE, but the old, late 90s DVD is NOT anamorphic. It is, thankfully, uncut. I like that flick, reminds me of a big budget Hammer movie, in the vein of one of their QUATERMASS flicks. I hear that remastered version that ran on MGM-HD is really nice looking. Would love to see a proper special edition of it, with commentaries, and as many bells and whistles as the disc can hold.

     

    I recently learned William Malone's CREATURE, THE BORROWER, THE HORROR SHOW (aka HOUSE 3), THE RIFT (aka ENDLESS DECENT), LONE WOLF, and ALIEN PREDATORS are all genre flicks owned by MGM. Here's a list of some others, which I got from DVDDrive-In:

     

    THE AMAZING TRANSPARENT MAN
    ANGEL, ANGEL, DOWN WE GO (aka CULT OF THE DAMNED)
    ANGELS FROM HELL
    BEAST OF HOLLOW MOUNTAIN
    BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (1962)
    BEYOND THE TIME BARRIER
    BLACK SABBATH
    THE BLACK SLEEP
    BLOOD AND LACE
    BLOOD BATH
    BLOOD ON SATAN’S CLAW
    BOBBIE JO AND THE OUTLAW
    THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN’T DIE
    A BULLET FOR PRETTY BOY
    BURN, WITCH, BURN!
    CAULDRON OF BLOOD
    CHATTERBOX
    CREATURE OF DESTRUCTION
    THE CRIMSON CULT (aka CURSE OF THE CRIMSON ALTAR)
    CRUCIBLE OF HORROR (aka THE CORPSE)
    CURSE OF THE FACELESS MAN
    CURSE OF THE SWAMP CREATURE
    DAGMAR’S HOT PANTS, INC.
    DAUGHTERS OF SATAN
    THE DEVIL’S ANGELS
    DIARY OF A MADMAN
    THE DIRT GANG
    DIRTY O’NEIL
    DR. BLOOD’S COFFIN
    DR. GOLDFOOT AND THE GIRL BOMBS
    THE EVICTORS
    THE FLIGHT THAT DISAPPEARED
    FUTUREWORLD
    GOG
    GORATH
    THE GLORY STOMPERS
    GRAVE OF THE VAMPIRE
    THE HARD RIDE
    THE HAUNTED HOUSE OF HORROR (aka HORROR HOUSE)
    HOUSE OF 1,000 DOLLS
    HOUSE OF THE LONG SHADOWS
    THE HOUSE THAT SCREAMED
    THE HUMAN VAPOR
    THE INCREDIBLE MELTING MAN
    IN THE YEAR 2889
    INVASION (1966)
    IT’S A BIKINI WORLD
    IT’S ALIVE (1968)
    JENNIFER
    KILLERS THREE
    LADYBUG LADYBUG
    THE LAST WAR
    LITTLE CIGARS
    MAGNETIC MONSTER
    THE MANSTER
    MARYJANE
    MASTER OF THE WORLD
    MESSAGE FROM SPACE
    THE MILLION EYES OF SUMURU
    THE NEANDERTHAL MAN
    OCTAMAN (not to be confused with "Octo-Mom")
    OLD DRACULA (aka VAMPIRA)
    THE PEACE KILLERS
    THE PHANTOM PLANET
    PHAROAH’S CURSE
    THE QUATERMASS XPERIMENT (aka THE CREEPING UNKNOWN)
    QUEEN OF BLOOD (aka PLANET OF BLOOD)
    THE RAPE SQUAD (aka ACT OF VENGEANCE)
    RED PLANET MARS
    RIOT ON SUNSTET STRIP
    THE SAVAGE SEVEN
    SAVAGE SISTERS
    SEARGANT DEADHEAD
    SEVEN (1980)
    SCHOOL FOR UNCLAIMED GIRLS
    SCORCHY
    THE SCREAMING SKULL
    SNAKE WOMAN
    SPACE PROBE TAURUS (aka SPACE MONSTER)
    SUGAR HILL (1974)
    SUPERBEAST
    THE TIME TRAVELERS
    THE TOWN THAT DEADED SUNDOWN
    UNHOLY ROLLERS
    VAMPIRE AND THE BALLERINA
    VOYAGE INTO SPACE
    WITHOUT WARNING (1980)
     
  11. AlanBrom

    AlanBrom Second Unit

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    From the above list (which is awesome), at least CANNIBALS GIRLS (coming from Shout) and NOTHING BUT THE NIGHT and THE DEVIL WITHIN HER (both coming from Scorpion) have been let free from the maximum secirity prison.
     
  12. SWFF

    SWFF Screenwriter

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    Crap, you're right! I didn't notice that. I'll edit them out of the list. Used to be a fan of OCTAMAN, then I saw it on THIS-TV and was disappointed it didn't live up to it's memory. So, won't be collecting that one when, and if, it ever gets a release. There's some money saved.
     
  13. Trevor824

    Trevor824 Extra

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    I wouldn't put anything into the recent news about MGM's debt problems. Just this morning there is yet another company, this one from India, that wants to take over the studio.
     

    For a DVD fan, you can only have hoped that they accepted Warner's attempts to buy them out. Warner has an established video arm so they could have begun releasing films on DVD right away.

     

    The problem is, the owners of MGM want it to function as a studio. They could easily sell off the library, but for those who have a stake in recollecting debt, they won't make it from the library. They need the big blockbusters from an existing studio.

     

    Today, MGM has a deal with FOX to release their DVDs. That is why so many of them have gone out of print. They have allowed only their most popular titles to remain in print. Go onto Netflix and hundreds of MGM titles have gone out of print and were removed from rental. They do have some never on DVD titles available for streaming though.

     

    With TROLL 2, that is surprisingly still one of their more popular titles. With the documentary BEST WORST MOVIE being released on DVD this fall, they are rereleasing it as a tie in to make more money from it.

     

    If a new company takes over, likes Spyglass, or the Indian company, expect them to start from scratch. Rely on the big titles and continue to let the obscure titles sit in the vaults.
     
  14. ahollis

    ahollis Producer

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    That is the way it would be. Confusion with the library and only focus on getting new productions made.
     
     
  15. cineMANIAC

    cineMANIAC Cinematographer
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    Shawn it's nice to see you resurfacing here after your, well, hasty exit from that other forum. This is an excellent board for discussing the movies we love but I always felt it needed more members interested in cult/exploitation flicks. Anyway, if I were a betting man my money would be on the side that thinks MGM definitely would want to exploit their massive library by releasing some of it on DVD/BD. Granted, nobody is expecting fancy SE's from them just yet but, yeah, they'll be more than happy to put some of that stuff out.
     
  16. SWFF

    SWFF Screenwriter

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    Hey, man, nice to see you, Luis! One of the many people from that "other forum" I actually miss. That whole mess started because of this weird mid-life crisis thing I started to feel, and at that same time, an exiled member, whose initials go by A.A. decided to send me a nasty email, and everything snowballed after that. Still miss that "other forum," planning on begging for mercy, perhaps in a year's time, to see if I can get reinstated. Got my blog back up and running, too. Decided to put an end, however, to my writing one. It wasn't doing anything but collecting dust. Besides, I'm still burned out on writing.

     

    Okay, back on target . . . until your post there, Luis, the consensus on this topic was depressing me. It sucks to think that the new owners might decide to forsake their back catalog, but, honestly, we'll never know a damn thing until the dust is actually settled. And, whomever those new owners end up being, I'm gonna send them an email reminding them of the genre material they've got in their jail cells.
     
  17. ahollis

    ahollis Producer

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    An internal memo went out today stating that MGM was continuing to work with Spyglass and have entered into a non-binding agreement with them. While it is common knowledge that India conglomerate Sahara India Pariwar has tested the waters with reported 2 billion offer, the management seems to be ignoring it. Wonder what the bond holders have to say?

     

    I have also heard the Eon is for the Sahara India Pariwar deal, though that is strictly a rumor.
     
  18. SWFF

    SWFF Screenwriter

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    What do you know of this SPYGLASS, Allen? I've seen their logo on a few movies. Aside from that I know little to nothing about them.
     
  19. ahollis

    ahollis Producer

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    It is basically a production company that has mostly co-financed pictures with Touchstone, Paramount, Columbia, and others. It was founded in 1998 by Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum and originally had a five year distribution deal with Walt Disney. One of their first films in 1999 was The Sixth Sense, which is one of five films they raised all the money for. Their co-fiance list of titles includes Dragonfly, The Recruit, Bruce Almighty, Seabiscut, The Legend of Zorro and Star Trek (2010). But with hits also comes the misses, such as The Love Guru, The Happening, Evan Almighty, and Underdog. Their most recent co-production was Dinner For Smucks.

     

    The bond holders for MGM seem to know that the value of the company can only come from increased production of films that will make money. Part of the problem with trying to sell the company has been the question of what is the value of the library. The bond holders want it to be worth what they originally purchased it for, while it is not at this time. The highest bid they received was for 1.5 billion from Warner Brothers and that was about 800 thousand less then they think it is worth.

     

    With the Spyglass deal, the library stays intact, new heads of the studio with many connections to talent in front and behind the camera are in place, and it brings a sense of stability to the company it they can raise funds to make films. Spyglass has already said they intend to dismantle the distribution and marketing and make a deal with another company, so in fact, MGM becomes a production company only. This is not a bad thing as long as product is kept in the pipeline for theatres, video and TV. I would much rather see a dozen films out of new MGM than the two or three they are doing now.

     

    One other thing, I think that they would either re-negotiate their home video deal with Fox or go with another studio, most likely the one they make a deal with to distribute their films. I hear Fox, Disney, Warner Brothers, Paramount and Sony are all interested (think Bond and Hobbit), These are production guys and after a film is made and released, the fun is over, especially now that video sales are not as they were.
     
  20. ahollis

    ahollis Producer

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    I hear now that Eon Productions is part of the Sahara India Pariwar offer and not just a supporter. That would help Eon secure the complete rights to the Bond films. Interesting to see how this will play out. If MGM management is continues to ignore the offer, it could tick off Eon Productions where it would take major conciliation's to fix the relationship.
     

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