MGM

By Trevor Heckendorn

Key Executives [1]

Gary Barber  Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Ken Schapiro  Chief Operating Officer

Jonathan Glickman President, Motion Picture Group

 

 

History

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) was founded in 1924 after entrepreneur Marcus Loew bought three separate production companies, Metro Pictures, Goldwyn Pictures Corporation, and Louis B. Mayer Pictures, and made them one.  MGM soon became a powerhouse in the entertainment industry, producing some of the biggest hits of the 1930s and 40s, like Gone with the Wind, and The Wizard of Oz.  However, MGM’s controlling grip on the world of cinema would begin slipping, and by 2010, they filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.  They would emerge from bankruptcy a few months later, under new leadership from Spyglass Entertainment partner, Gary Barber.  MGM films have won an astounding 175 Academy Awards, including 14 Best Picture winners. [2] [3]

 

Financial Information

MGM has had a rocky past when it comes to financial stability.  Despite filing for bankruptcy just a few years ago, they now seem to be positioned incredibly well for the future.  Although MGM creates entertainment for the public, the company is still private, and so are their financial records.  Also, since their rise from bankruptcy, MGM has yet to produce a movie on their own, and frequently partner with Columbia Pictures.  However, looking over some of MGM’s recent productions (or co-productions), their revenue stream seems to be better than ever.  Under new leadership, MGM has begun relying heavily on sequels, a generally safe move in the film industry.  In 2012, MGM co-produced two films that grossed over $1,000,000,000, both of which have future sequels already planned. [4]

 

Recent Releases

Skyfall (2012)                                                                                                             Distribution; co-produced with United Artist, Columbia Pictures, and Eon Productions         Budget: $150-200 Million                                                                                                         Gross: $1.1 Billion [5]

Daniel Craig returned as James Bond for the 23rd installment of the 007 series, the highest-grossing film franchise of all-time. Directed by Oscar-winner Sam Mendes, Skyfall surprised both critics and fans with its writing and breathtaking cinematography.  It also became the highest grossing of the 23 James Bond movies, grossing over $1 billion. Skyfall would go on to be nominated for 5 Academy Awards, winning for Best Sound Mixing and Best Original Song (Skyfall by Adele).  Daniel Craig has signed on for three more James Bond movies, with the 24th installment planned to be released November 2015.  [6]

 

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)                                                                     Co-Production with New Line Cinema, Warner Bros., and WingNut Films                 Budget: $200-315 Million                                                                                                Gross: $1.02 Billion  [7]

J.R.R. Tolkein’s novels of epic adventures through Middle Earth continue to be blockbuster film adaptations, with this prequel to the Lord of the Rings series.  It followed in the financial footsteps of its predecessors, generating over $1,000,000,000 in revenue, as all three of the Lord of the Rings movies have.  Peter Jackson returned as director for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and plans to complete a Hobbit trilogy, with releases in 2013 and 2014.  The Hobbit was nominated for three Academy Awards: Best Visual Effects, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, and Best Production Design.  However, The Hobbit may have been most newsworthy for its incredible budget, rumored to be upwards of $315 million, which would make it the largest budget of any film in history.  The film was also a technological feat, utilizing CGI and 3D technologies in ways that hadn’t been seen before. The film was shot at 48 frames per second, making it the first wide release feature film to do so.  [8]

 

G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013)                                                                                               Co-Production with Hasbro, Paramount Pictures, di Bonaventura Pictures, and Skydance Productions                                                                                                                   Budget: $130 Million                                                                                                       Gross: $372 Million  [9]

In 2013, MGM continued their reliance on sequels with the second installment in the G.I. Joe franchise, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Bruce Willis, and Channing Tatum.  This star-studded action flick hauled in over $372 million dollars at the box office, a rare feat for a March release.  Plans for a third installment of the series have been recently confirmed, with Jon Chu returning to direct.  [10]

 

Carrie (2013)                                                                                                                     Distribution; Co-Production with Screen Gems                                                                       Budget: $30 Million                                                                                                         Gross: $53 Million  [11]

MGM and Screen Gems tried their hand at making Stephen King’s 1974 into a feature film (for the third time) this October, with the release of Carrie.  This horror film features Chloe Grace Moretz in the title role, with support from Emmy-winner Julianne Moore.  This film seemed to be a safer investment for MGM, with the budget being only $30 million.  That investment has already been made back, as Carrie continuing its theatrical run. [12]

 

Upcoming Releases

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (December 13, 2013)                                       Co-Production with New Line Cinema, Warner Bros., and WingNut Films

The incredibly successful Lord of the Rings franchise adds another film this December, with the second installment in the Hobbit series being released internationally on December 13th.  Peter Jackson is back to direct and write the screenplay, based on J.R.R. Tolkein’s novel, The Hobbit.  Sir Ian McKellan, Martin Freeman, and company reprise their legendary roles, as The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug prepares to repeat the box office and critical success of the first film.  Just as Peter Jackson did with the Lord of the Rings series, all three Hobbit films will be produced back-to-back, with the third installment, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, already planned for a December 2014 release. [13]

 

Robocop (Feburary 12, 2014)                                                                                               Distribution; Co-Production with Strike Entertainment and Columbia Pictures

RoboCop Poster - P 2013

Robocop makes his return to the big screen in Feburary 2014, starring Joel Kinnaman in the title role.  This science fiction thriller is a remake of the original 1987 film of the same name.  Other featured actors include Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, and Samuel L. Jackson.  With a budget rumored to be over $120 million, MGM and Columbia Pictures are counting on audiences new and old to flock to this potential blockbuster. [14]

 

22 Jump Street (June 13, 2014)                                                                                        Co-Production with Relativity Media, Columbia Pictures, and Original Film

Following the surprise success of 21 Jump Street in March of 2012, MGM and Columbia Pictures have begun production on the sequel, 22 Jump Street.  This comedy film features Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum reprising their roles as undercover cops, this time going undercover at a local college.  The first film grossed over $200 million at the box office, and MGM can expect the sequel to do just as well. [15]

 

Future of MGM

Since their emergence from bankruptcy, MGM has been making safe investments, financing mostly adaptions and sequels.  Additional movies slated for 2014 releases include a sequel to Hot Tub Time Machine, and an adaption of the graphic novel Hercules: The Thracian Wars.  As MGM beings its return to being the powerhouse it once was, we may being to see more original productions, but for now, they have no reason to change their business strategy, as it is paying off quite well.

 

Sources

[1] MGM.com – MGM Today

[2] MGM.com – History

[3] Global Times – MGM restructuring becomes effective, new owners step in

[4] IMDb – MGM

[5] Box Office Mojo – Skyfall

[6] IMDb – Skyfall

[7] Box Office Mojo – The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

[8] IMDb – The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

[9] Box Office Mojo – G.I. Joe Retaliation

[10] IMDb – G.I. Joe Retaliation

[11] Box Office Mojo – Carrie

[12] IMDb – Carrie

[13] IMDb – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

[14] IMDb – RoboCop

[15] IMDb – 22 Jump Street

 

Picture Sources

MGM Logo (courtesy of wikia.com)

Gary Barber (courtesy of MGM.com)

Ken Schapiro (courtesy of MGM.com)

Jonathan Glickman (courtesy of MGM.com)

Skyfall (courtesy of Forbes.com)

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (courtesy of venganzamedia.com)

G.I. Joe: Retaliation (courtesy of propagandistmag.com)

Carrie (courtesy of fansshare.com)

The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug (courtesy of comicbookresources.com)

RoboCop (courtesy of hollywoodreporter.com)

 22 Jump Street (courtesy of collider.com)

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