MGM....... a second rate studio.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Paul_D, Feb 28, 2002.

  1. Paul_D

    Paul_D Cinematographer

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    Why is it that MGM can't run with the big boys. So many of their releases are utter garbage, and they almost never (can't think of one) produce award winning pictures. Without James Bond they'd be sunk. Just think about that for a moment.

    Why can't MGM step up to be a front runner?
     
  2. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    You pretty much answered your own question. They have only one cash cow to milk. The closest thing they have to a second marketable franchise is Hannibal Lecter. I also don't get the impression that Kirk Kerkorian is a guy that bought a controlling interest in MGM because he loves cinema, and they are not nestled in a larger media company like most of the other major studios.

    Regards,
     
  3. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    The mere fact that MGM has survived at all is something of a minor miracle. And I have high hopes for Windtalkers.

    M.
     
  4. Paul_D

    Paul_D Cinematographer

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  5. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Producer

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  6. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    Considering the religious fervor with which Paramount apparently pushes filmmakers to edit their thrillers by all but plugging the test screening audiences survey results directly into an AVID (when they figure out how to do it, they will), it is amazing that MI:2 came across with as much flare and style as it did. The fact that Cruise & Wagner have some clout probably helped in this regard.

    Regards,
     
  7. Paul_D

    Paul_D Cinematographer

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  8. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  9. Paul_D

    Paul_D Cinematographer

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    No comment. [​IMG]
     
  10. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    That's kind of harsh.

    MGM isn't total trash. They actually should concentrate on re-releasing their classics (I'll gladly fly up to NYC or LA to see the restored versions of The Alamo and It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World.)

    MGM may not make great productions now (I sadly have a lone MGM DVD and only 3 VHS...all classics), but they have such a great asset!

    In fact, all the studios should take a year off of making new movies and re-release some of their best catalog titles. I'd love to see MGM re-release Goldfinger around when Austin Powers 3 comes out...
     
  11. Brennan Hill

    Brennan Hill Stunt Coordinator

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    How about the Usual Suspects, Muholloand Falls, and Ronin
     
  12. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    How about Rollerball and Hart's War.

    A couple more seasons like that and there won't be an MGM.

    You can make bad films all you want, but if you are losing $70-$80m PER PICTURE, you've got trouble.

    This is why MGM just had to announce an adjustment to their already predicted losses for the quarter. I agree with the sentiment that in many ways they are treading water.

    A shadow of what the studio once was.
     
  13. Marc Colella

    Marc Colella Cinematographer

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    MGM's best years are definitely behind them.
    They really need to rethink what films get money.
    Even though it wasn't a big money maker, MGM did release one of the better films of 2001 - Ghost World.
     
  14. Jeff Rogers

    Jeff Rogers Second Unit

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  15. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    Thinking of a project like Ghost World, you simply have to wonder how Rollerball got the green light for so much MONEY. That's the big mistake.

    I thought MGM was hurting for money for some time. Maybe taking crazy big money risks is not such a good thing. Miramax might be a better model, buy up good indy projects at Sundance and other festivals and shepard them. Sure you probably are going to have small incomes, but baby steps are the way back to health I think.

    Michael, I agree with Paul on Woo's American studio work. The conflict between his vision and the studio system type product seems to make the films a sloppy mess, at least so far. I've found every thing he's done here to be well below his standard.

    Hard to say with Windtalkers from what I've seen. Cage has really been off lately as well. I will have to hear good reviews to take the time to see this one.
     
  16. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  17. Matthew Chmiel

    Matthew Chmiel Cinematographer

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  18. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    MGM has had their recent successes with lower budget stuff like Legally Blonde and Jeepers Creepers. To be fair, has MGM's track record been any worse than Columbia's lately? They spent over $100 million on Ali. They are budgeting just under that for Men in Black 2 with enormous profit participation deals for the stars. They are budgeting $139 million for Spiderman. I can't think of a blockbuster they've had since Charlie's Angels. Columbia's biggest box-office hits in 2001 were America's Sweethearts and Black Hawk Down. At least MGM had Hannibal and Legally Blonde. The difference is that Columbia has "Uncle Sony" to keep it afloat during the rough times.

    I normally don't get into box-office discussions, but my point is that MGM is not the only company consistently betting too much money on the wrong horses.

    Regards,
     
  19. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Thanks, Ken, for bringing this thread a much-needed dose of hard fact and common sense.

    M.
     
  20. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    Michael, it was also Ken that pointed out how MGM is more at risk with those guesses though. No major company owner overseeing them and possibly helping to shelter/buffer them on their mistakes.

    This was the studio who was telling us their DVD division was very poor and struggling, thus their approach to dumping product onto the market in cheap formats just to build capital.

    I just thought they didn't have the space to make these kinda major mistakes, and they just made 2 whoppers right on top of each other. Of course Hannibal probably gave them plenty of capital to work with, but I wonder if these 2 misses didn't deplete a lot of that.

    The latest news is that they just agreed to hand Denzel $20m for a new picture. Considering how he's been opening lately it seems like a safe bet I suppose.
     

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