by Will McDonald
10250 Constellation Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90067
MGM Studios Inc. is a privately held entertainment company that produces motion pictures and television programs worldwide. It has won over 175 Oscars, including 14 Best Picture wins. Leo the Lion is MGM’s mascot, who appears at the beginning of all of the films. Above the lion on the mascot is MGM’s logo “Ars gratia artis,” which is Latin for “Art for art’s sake.”
Gary Barber-Chairman and CEO
Ken Schapiro-Chief Operating Officer
Jonathan Glickman-President of the Motion Pictures Group
In October, Chairman and CEO Gary Barber announced that Jonathan Glickman will continue his role as president of the Motion Pictures Group until 2017.
Brief History of MGM:
In 1924, MGM came to be when Marcus Loew arranged a merge between Goldwyn Pictures, Metro Pictures Corp, and eventually Louis B. Mayer Pictures, creating Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The studio dominated the Hollywood industry for many years, discovering many new stars and producing award winning movies, such as Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz.
In 2010, MGM filed for bankruptcy, hindering their ability to make new movies. Fortunately, that same year, MGM emerged from this crisis and began to produce movies again.
In November 2012, MGM reported a $23.4 million net profit for the the third quarter in 2012, increasing from the $15.2 million net profit from the third quarter in 2011. MGM had a $4.3 million loss in operating income, as opposed to its $32.8 million gain in the third quarter of 2011. CEO Gary Barber claimed that the results were hurt by distribution and marketing costs of the films, which MGM spent more money on this year than the previous year. Yet, he remains optimistic, as MGM expects to have a substantial increase in revenue in the fourth quarter results with the succesful release of Skyfall and the highly anticipated The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
In October 2012, MGM won appeals court in a long battle against the financial backers of the movie Madison, starring Jim Caviezel. In 2009, the backers of the 2005 film sued MGM, claiming that MGM’s failure to distribute the film cost them millions of dollars. The backers of the film sued the studio in Illinois, but the court ruled in favor of MGM, deciding that MGM did not have enough contact with this state as a basis for the lawsuit.
Roger Birnbaum, who became co-CEO with Barber in December 2010, recently stepped down in November to become one of MGM’s producers. He wanted to focus more on movies and talent, instead of working on the business side of the film industry. He will begin his new role as the executive producer of RoboCop, set to release in 2014. RoboCop is a remake of the 1987 film.
Co-produced by MGM and Time Warner, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel The Hobbit, will be released in the United States on December 14, 2012. This film is expected to break box office records, contributing to an annual box office increase, which hasn’t happened since 2009. Media analysts predict that this film will help draw viewers into the movie theaters again, despite the growing competition of the television and the Internet. This film has been widely anticipated, ever since the release and success of the Rings trilogy. This film will also be released in 3D and IMAX. The director of the film, Peter Jackson, shot the film in 48 frames per second, compared to the 24 frames per second of standard films. His goal was to make the audience feel more engaged and part of the journey. Some fear that this will make them feel sick, but scientists assure audiences that this won’t be an issue.
According to the movie’s twitter handle, @TheHobbitMovie, audience members can buy their tickets ahead of time through Fandago, an online service that sells movie tickets via the internet, and get a free song from the soundtrack in exchange.
Skyfall, MGM’s latest James Bond movie, has brought in $869 million worldwide. MGM co-produced this movie with Eon Productions and Sony Pictures. This latest chapter in the franchise is the highest grossing James Bond movie of all time, starring Daniel Craig and Javier Bardem. This film was released on the 50th anniversary of the series, directed by Oscar winner Sam Mendes. Skyfall came very close to the #1 spot at the box office the first weekend of December, with Summit Entertainment’s The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn-Part 2 barely edging it out. Skyfall helped break the domestic box office record for Thanksgiving weekend, raking in $290 million. The previous record was $273 million in 2009. This was also the first Bond film to ever appear in IMAX.
In addition to the US market, Skyfall was a sensation in foreign markets, not only as the most succesful film of 2012 at the UK box office, surpassing Dark Knight Rises, but also as the highest grossing film in the UK box office history, surpassing Avatar. On its opening weekend in various foreign markets, it debuted as number one in 25 different countries.
On November 21, MGM released a remake of the 1984 film Red Dawn, grossing a domestic total of $38.4 million as of December 5, yet with an estimated $65 million production budget. Despite the famous stars of the movie, such as Josh Hutcherson, Josh Peck, and Chris Hemsworth, this action remake has received negative ratings amongst the critics, with a small 12% score from Rotten Tomatoes, a popular website that reviews films. Filming of Red Dawn was completed in 2009, and was set to be released in November 2010, but MGM’s financial troubles made this difficult, therefore the film was not released until two years later.
In September 2012, pay TV company C More Entertainment renewed a multi-year licensing agreement with MGM, giving this Nordic region TV channel provider the rights to air a large selection MGM’s movie library on linear and on-demand channels. This gives C More the right to air both movies that have already been released, such as Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and movies that have yet to be released, such as The Hobbit trilogy. This deal also ensures that C More subscribers can watch all the movies on different platforms, such as computers and mobile devices via their internet service, C More Play.
MGM renewed partnership with Sky Italia, a new Italian satellite platform, enlarging MGM’s library on Sky Cinema. Starting in September, Sky Cinema Classics began hosting the best of MGM catalogue in high definition, with almost 200 titles per year. These films will also appear on Sky On-Demand, a new innovation from Sky Italia.
MGM and Paramount Pictures will co-produce Hercules, a famous fiction movie about a heroic man. MGM was initially the only studio involved in the project, but Paramount recently signed on to produce as well. The film is set to start filming in the beginning of 2013, with Brett Ratner as the director. The film has confirmed Dwayne Johnson to star in the film. Ryan Condal wrote the script, which he adapted from the novel, Hercules: The Tharacian War.
1. MGM Logo courtesy of Google Images
6. Jonathan Glickman courtesy of Google Images
24. C More Entertainment logo courtesy of Google Images
26. Sky Italia logo courtesy of Google Images