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Warner may own MGM Update: Sony/Columbia buys MGM

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#1 of 155 OFFLINE   JackKay


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Posted September 01 2004 - 02:50 PM

This off Daily Variety: It's cash for Kirk Kerkorian TW looks to entice MGM with $4.5 bil Time Warner has shifted its bid for MGM to all cash from a stock and cash deal as it seeks to nail down a deal take control of the Lion. 9/1/04 5:10pm It seems to me that the huge MGM library is a leverage point in the Format battle between Blu-ray and HDDVD. Now with Sony not getting their hands on those movies and Warner claiming to be "on the fence" in choosing a format...well, the plot thickens.
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#2 of 155 OFFLINE   john mcfadden

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Posted September 01 2004 - 03:11 PM

Do'nt know if this has any leverage to the topic but i bought a new sealed copy of "Ice Pirates" on vhs recently and all over the cover was MGM but when i opened the cassette there were Warner Brothers labels .Guess i should be emailing Warner about the DVD ?

#3 of 155 OFFLINE   paul:hillsdon


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Posted September 01 2004 - 04:58 PM

I'm not exactly sure about this, but I think Warner bought a large amount of MGM films a while ago back with the starting of that Tuner movie channel. I know the old VHS of Gone with the Wind was from MGM, and I think Wizard of Oz was also a MGM title. I wonder though, if Warner will keep the MGM logo with previous MGM titles if they end up buying the "lion". Or they might just keep it in the credits like Universal and MCA. Quick question: Does anyone know why 20th Century Fox Home Video was originally called CBS/FOX back in the 80's?

#4 of 155 ONLINE   Bryan Tuck

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Posted September 01 2004 - 06:29 PM

To the best of my knowledge: A while back, Ted Turner's company bought most if not all of MGM's pre-1986 library. The distribution of these titles was still handled by MGM. Then a few years ago, after Warner and Turner merged, Warner bought all of the Turner-owned MGM titles. Therefore, Warner now owns all of Metro-Goldwyn Mayer's pre-1986 titles outright. This does not include films originally distributed under the United Artists label (MGM has owned UA for years). MGM currently owns all of the films that have come out under its label from 1986 on, plus the United Artists films, the Orion & Embassy libraries, and probably a few other odds and ends. This is what is up for sale, if I'm not mistaken. Warner already owns the pre-'86 MGM films, so I don't believe they are on the auction block. The articles that mention films like Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz being part of the current sale are not very well-researched, as these films have been owned by Warner Bros. for several years now. That's how I understand it, but anyone is free to correct me if I'm wrong.
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#5 of 155 OFFLINE   Mike Wadkins

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Posted September 01 2004 - 06:43 PM

my r2 copy of the dirty dozen had warner shrink wrap but mgm logos on the film and artwork

#6 of 155 OFFLINE   Douglas R

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Posted September 01 2004 - 07:30 PM

There is no MGM logo on the current "The Dirty Dozen" R2 DVD. The back cover reproduces the original credits starting with "Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer presents...." simply because MGM originally made the film. Warner also retain the MGM logo (Leo the lion)on the actual film because the logo is, of course, part of the film. The current MGM/UA has nothing to do with the old MGM studio and should more sensibly call themselves UA because that is the bulk of their film library.

#7 of 155 OFFLINE   Michael Harris

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Posted September 02 2004 - 01:51 AM

While I don't like the idea of one media company swallowing up the assets of another studio I do hope that Time Warner wins out over Sony if only because the rights to "The Hobbit" will be owned by Peter Jackson's biggest backer. Since the death of the classic studio system, the famous studio names are just a brand name that lost their unique identity. What is a "Warner Bros", "MGM", "20th Century Fox", "Paramount", etc. film. Only the fact that some studios own the rights to certain franchises give them some semblance of an identity.

#8 of 155 OFFLINE   Ken Horowitz

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Posted September 02 2004 - 06:07 AM

CBS/Fox was a joint venture, created back in the days before Fox owned a network; and when CBS still owned CBS [Sony] records and one-third of TriStar Pictures. Over time, CBS sold off much of its content, and the bulk of the CBS/Fox product became primarily Fox. Fox then bought out CBS's share of the joint venture. Back at the dawn of time, there was briefly a CBS/MGM joint venture as well.

#9 of 155 OFFLINE   Patrick McCart

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Posted September 02 2004 - 06:22 AM

Warner has been the distributor for all MGM/UA Video since the Turner sale in the 1980's. Look on any MGM/UA tape or LD and you'll see "Distributed Exclusively By Warner Home Video" in small print on the back. For a while, Warner also did this with MGM's DVD's until Turner moved to WHV fully. Also, Warner's including Oliver Stone's two Orion releases (property of MGM) in the upcoming "Complete" Oliver Stone set.

#10 of 155 OFFLINE   todd s

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Posted September 02 2004 - 06:32 AM

Someone mentioned that if Warner does get MGM. It bodes well for a Hobbit movie done by Peter Jackson.
Bring back John Doe! Or at least resolve the cliff-hanger with a 2hr movie or as an extra on a dvd release.

#11 of 155 OFFLINE   StevenFC


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Posted September 02 2004 - 02:25 PM

So is one of our resident MGM catalog experts going to give us the lowdown on what this means for Joe DVD? I'm just waiting for the great Warner treatment on their movies of the past. What kind of MGM stuff can we expect to see getting the Warner treatment if this deal goes through? And will this mean a delay in the release of older Warner catalog titles?
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#12 of 155 OFFLINE   Joshua_W


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Posted September 02 2004 - 06:11 PM

Will MGM be completely folded into Warners, or will it remain its own entity within the corporate structure like New Line?

#13 of 155 OFFLINE   Daniel Windsor

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Posted September 02 2004 - 07:16 PM

I hope that Warner do buy MGM as that seems the best place to rest for the Lion since Ted 'colorized' Turner stole their back catalogue.

#14 of 155 OFFLINE   Mark Zimmer

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Posted September 03 2004 - 02:30 AM

I think for certain it means the end of the excellent Midnite Movies line, since Warner generally has contempt for its genre offerings (though it did get a little better this year, it's only high profile things like Village of the Damned and Them that get released, and you'd never see things like Invasion of the Bee Girls coming from them). Not a good thing at all.Posted Image

#15 of 155 OFFLINE   Patrick McCart

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Posted September 03 2004 - 02:36 AM

That's a little harsh. Turner's purchase of the pre-1986 MGM/pre-1950 Warner/etc. catalog from MGM was possibly one of the greatest things to happen to the films.

#16 of 155 OFFLINE   Douglas R

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Posted September 03 2004 - 03:40 AM

Here, hear!! Just think of the ghastly DVD transfers we would have had if MGM/UA still owned the MGM studio back catalogue.

#17 of 155 OFFLINE   FrancisP



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Posted September 10 2004 - 02:57 PM

I have two problems with this possibility. First of all, 4 companies own the bulk of the video libraries. These companies are Paramount, MGM, Warner, and Universal. As a matter of fact these companies own such huge libraries that I don't think they will ever get around to releasing their entire library. If this goes through then there will be 3 companies. We need less concentration rather than more. If only the companies would license their holdings to other companies. Secondly, I question Warner's committment. For exammple, a title like House of Dark Shadows is asked about consistently but even a barebones release apparently is not big enough for them. What happens to the Midnite Movie series? Will b- movies like Invasion of the Star Creatures be big enough for them? I think Warner getting the MGM library would not be good although unfortunately this looks like the most likely outcome.

#18 of 155 OFFLINE   Joshua Clinard

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Posted September 10 2004 - 03:56 PM

According to Elites TV, the deal has gone through. MGM got 4.6 Billion Cash. Hope it turns out to be true. I guess we'll see an announcement in the next few days one way or the other.


#19 of 155 OFFLINE   walter o

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Posted September 10 2004 - 04:03 PM

I find it sad that it's bad enough that WB is neglecting the MGM library (all these MGM classics are now OOP on VHS, while WB catalog titles are still in print on vhs), so DVD releases of these MGM classics looks bleak as it is, if WB buys the MGM as a compnay, will they then neglect the UA,AIP,Orion library as well?

#20 of 155 ONLINE   rich_d



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Posted September 10 2004 - 04:42 PM

Perhaps you could be more specific as to what you are refering to as being neglected. I think Warner comes to mind as one of the better DVD shops around - particularly in the last couple years. For example, I think they did a nice job with Meet Me in St. Louis - the MGM musical. To a studio exec, old movies are inventory about to be turned into DVD cash. Do you think they give a lick what original studio produced the film?

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