What's With Sony And Mgm?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Charles H, Feb 8, 2006.

  1. Charles H

    Charles H Screenwriter

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    Sony has purged their upcoming releases of all MGM products (KID MILLIONS--a Goldwyn product formerly owned by MGM; PAPER LION; and now A FISH CALLED WANDA: SE). Does anyone know of any other future releases from MGM via Sony? Are they trying to sell it to WB (who wanted it in the first place) or is that too much to hope for?
     
  2. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    There's also the Leone films which I've given up on and decided to import the Dutch issues.

    Though I'd still like to own a decent R1 remastered S.E. of Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia.

    Sony also consistently puts out the most useless reissues and than on titles which could benefit from an upgrade like their Ghostbusters set, completely miss the ball. Otherwise, significant titles like the original Robert Mitchum '61 version Of Cape Fear and others which cry out for a decent S.E. continue to get neglected along with the many unreleased classic films in their vaults and their extensive animation library which I doubt they're even aware of.

    I'd personally be very glad if Sony auctioned their films off to a more capable company like WB, though they already have so much on their plate. Apart from their Classic Media division and recent Pink Panther films and cartoons, I can't remember the last DVD I've picked up from Sony.
     
  3. Bradley-E

    Bradley-E Screenwriter

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    Monday, September 13th, 2004
    A consortium led by Sony Corp. has agreed in principle to acquire famed Hollywood studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. for nearly $3 billion, MGM said late Monday. The deal is a coup for Sony, which as late as Sunday was considered the underdog in the bidding to Time Warner Inc., which dropped its offer Monday.

    Acquiring MGM's vast library of more than 4,100 films boosts the content Sony can now offer on DVD and on portable devices, many of which Sony makes.

    But the deal also marks the last chapter in the history of two of Hollywood's most storied names -- MGM, which once best known for its musical hits like "Singing in the Rain" and "Meet Me in St. Louis, " and United Artists, the studio founded in 1919 by Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and D.W. Griffith.

    MGM bought United Artists in 1981 and has used the brand in recent years as a boutique studio, releasing low budget independent films.

    MGM said it received a cash deposit of $150 million on Monday from Sony, along with private equity companies Providence Equity Partners Inc., Texas Pacific Group and DLJ Merchant Banking Partners.

    MGM said its management will recommend the deal, which it called a "proposed merger," to its board by Sept. 27.

    Sony has agreed to pay $12 per share for MGM, or about $2.94 billion cash -- a 4 percent premium over MGM's closing price of $11.55 Monday on the New York Stock Exchange. The deal also calls for Sony to assume about $1.9 billion in MGM debt. MGM shares rose 3.9 percent, or 44 cents, on speculation of a pending deal, and then gained another 5 cents in extended trading.

    The sale would mark the third time billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian has sold the film studio. Through his Tracinda Group, Kerkorian owns 74 percent of MGM's outstanding shares and the sale to Sony would net him about $2.1 billion.

    MGM paid a special one-time dividend of $8 per share in May, saying it was the best way to return value to shareholders. That transaction paid Kerkorian about $1.4 billion and resulted in MGM's $1.9 billion debt.

    For the past two years, MGM has been hunting ways to grow larger, either through acquisitions or mergers.

    The company made an $11.5 billion all-cash bid for Vivendi Universal Entertainment last year, but lost that contest to NBC.

    Sony is expected to shutter MGM's current production, with the possible exception of the "James Bond" franchises.

    But MGM has a considerable library of more than 4,100 titles, including the "Pink Panther" and "Rocky" franchises. Analysts have estimated MGM's library will generate $440 million in cash flow in 2004 by exploiting only 1,500, or about 36 percent, of its titles on the newer DVD format.

    Time Warner had been seen as the front-runner for MGM going into the weekend. But Sony raised its offer, setting off a bidding war that Time Warner concluded it did not want.

    "As we pledged to our shareholders, we approach every potential acquisition with strict financial discipline," Time Warner chairman and chief executive Dick Parsons said. "Unfortunately, Time Warner could not reach agreement with MGM at a price that would have represented a prudent use of our growing financial capacity."

    Parsons, who has often said Time Warner is interested in expanding its presence in cable television, hinted Monday that the cash it saved from the MGM bid could be used to bolster its cable presence. "We are confident that there are other capital allocation choices that will enable us to continue to build shareholder value," Parson said.

    Time Warner is known to be interested in bidding on the cable assets of bankrupt Adelphia Communications Corp.

    Sony has also approached cable television giant Comcast Corp. about becoming a minority investor in the new company after the Sony/MGM deal closes, although no deal has been reached, according to a source familiar with those discussions.

    Comcast and Sony have reached a deal to distribute Sony's Columbia/Tri-Star film library on Comcast's video-on-demand platform, the source said. The deal also includes Sony and Comcast developing new movie cable channels.

    That deal could expand to include MGM's library of films and result in Comcast making an investment in the new company.

    A Comcast spokeswoman declined to comment.

    Sony shares gained 53 cents Monday to close at $35.82 on the New York Stock Exchange.
     
  4. Roger Rollins

    Roger Rollins Supporting Actor

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    The same geniuses that made SONY the height of mediocrity when it comes to DVD catalog marketing, now have brought their lack of talent to the former MGM Home Entertainment catalog of UA, post'86 MGM, Orion, etc. titles. Whereas MGM was a pretty poor example of a home video label in the DVD era, at least they showed a little thought and creativity despite their multiple mistakes and poor judgment....but things have only gotten much worse under the ageis of the Sony folks...you know...thoee folks that just repackaged four old Cary Grant titles with one new one so if you already had the 4 oldies but wanted the new one you are screwed..

    I just love Sony[​IMG]
     
  5. AlanBrom

    AlanBrom Second Unit

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    I can't remember the last disc I picked up from Sony either, and it seems they're doing very little with the MGM libary. I imagine the Midnite Movies series has been tossed in the trash can.
     
  6. Charles H

    Charles H Screenwriter

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    MIDNIGHT COWBOY: SE was (?) due to be released on 2/21. Why--in the light of BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN--have we seen no publicity or reviews for this? Odds are it ain't going to happen on the Sony watch.
     
  7. Paul.S

    Paul.S Producer

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    Yesterday's Home Media Retailing story about Sony's announcement of pricing for Blu-ray also referred to DVD/UMD budles of Terminator and Mad Max streeting on March 28 and April 11, respectively (not coincidentally, these are WHV's first two street dates for their HD DVD titles).

    Don't think it's accurate to say that Sony "has purged their upcoming releases of all MGM products." An MGM sale to Warner this quickly after the consumation of the Sony deal is also excruciatingly unlikely. Not sure what you're basing that on either.

    It's hardly definitive, but Amazon is still taking pre-orders for a Feb. 21 street of the Midnight Cowboy: CE.
     
  8. Thomas T

    Thomas T Producer

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    Marco, the 1962 Cape Fear doesn't belong to MGM or Sony. It is, and always has been, a Universal film.
     

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