Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Spyglass to Run MGM?

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Spyglass Entertainment (Star Trek, GI Joe, Get Him to the Greek) is considering taking over the running of MGM as the studio tries to "restructure a roughly $4 billion debt load this summer." This would put Spyglass co-heads Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum in charge of the studio. This aligns with indications that the studio's creditors would rather attempt to run the studio to increase its value rather than outright selling it at a bargain basement price. Deadline reports Summit Entertainment (Twilight franchise) is also in the running.

The creditors are deciding between proposals submitted by both studios and also MGM's current management team. It seems the creditors like Spyglass' presentation more, probably helped that the studio would get less of the MGM pie then Summit. MGM's own proposal is considered risky as they are asking for another $1 billion in capital to "bankroll a slate of expensive blockbusters."

To the winner is the ability to oversee the The Hobbit films, future Bond films, a 3 Stooges film, Stargate franchise and more. MGM's storied history presents lots of franchises and opportunities to bring the studio around. The main issue is they have been plagued with management teams that seem focused on squandering opportunities (and money on themselves) and not properly exploiting beloved franchises effectively (a bunch of direct to video releases is not effective use for example). What the future holds is unknown and until it is, The Hobbit remains in greenlight limbo. (via TheOneRing)

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