MGM

mgmlogo-head

MGM Logo [1]

Finances

After a bankruptcy declaration in 2011, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer has regained its position as a profitable major film studio in the last five years. MGM Studios is owned by the larger parent company of MGM Holdings Inc., a company formed from what was formerly Spyglass Entertainment [2]. In 2015, the studio made $1.56 billion in revenue, resulting in an operating income of $258.78 million. This was up from $1.44 billion and $243.03 million, respectively, in 2014. 2015 was the company’s third consecutive year of posting record revenue and income. MGM Holdings’ total assets currently stand at $3.045 billion [3]. The studio has been in the process of repurchasing its stocks since its bankruptcy, and in March announced that $300 million more would be added to their repurchasing plan. The ramping up of the repurchasing plan has been taken as a sign of confidence in the company’s continued growth [4].

Recent Acquisitions

In January of 2016, MGM fully acquired the United Artists Media Group, a film and television production company that had been a joint venture with Mark Burnett, Roma Downey and Hearst Productions. MGM had acquired a 55% stake in Burnett, Downey and Hearst’s One Three Media and LightWorkers Media in September 2014, and relaunch the companies as United Artists. As of January 2016, all revenues, expenses and assets of United Artists are now consolidated under the MGM name [5].

FullSize-92x124_Barber_Gary

Gary Barber [6]

FullSize-MB_BSG2596c_4

Mark Burnett [7]

FullSize-92x124_Glickman_Jonathan

Jonathan Glickman [8]

Executives

MGM’s three top executives are Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gary Barber, President of the Television and Digital Group Mark Burnett, and President of the Motion Picture Group Jonathan Glickman. Barber and Glickman were previously the heads of Spyglass Entertainment, where Barber oversaw the production of a total of $5 billion in box office productions. MGM became the first studio to release back-to-back films making over $1 billion at the box office under Barber’s leadership with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and Skyfall.  Burnett was named to his position in January 2016, when MGM fully acquired his United Artists company. His former United Artists co-owner Roma Downey is President of LightWorkers Media, which is now the “faith and family division of MGM Television” [9].

Current Releases

20160409134323!How_To_Be_Single_Poster

How To Be Single [14]

MGM has only released two films thus far in 2016, both of which were coproduced with New Line Cinema and were distributed by New Line’s parent studio Warner Brothers [10] [11]. These films were How To Be Single and Barbershop: The Next Cut, both relatively small-scale but still distinctly mainstream offerings, opening in 3,343 and 2,661 theaters respectively. How To Be Single was by far the more successful, bringing in $46.8 million in domestic box office revenue and a total of $105.3 million worldwide, against a production budget of $38 million [12]Barbershop was less successful, though not necessarily a flop. It brought in $20.2 million in its opening weekend (April 15-17) against predictions in the high-$20 millions range. Its production budget has not been released to the press [13]. These films also show that MGM is willing to target underserved demographics with their films, with How To Be Single being described as attempting to be a “feminist rom-com” and Barbershop being specifically marketed towards African-Americans.

Upcoming Releases

MGM has three more coproductions with release dates in 2016, each with their own significant potential for profit.

Me Before You is slated for a June 3 release, and is a romantic drama abou a young woman (Emilia Clarke) who falls in love with a paralyzed man she is caring for (Sam Claflin) [15]. The plot description puts in squarely in the vein of other successful films like The Fault In Our Stars and Me and Earl and The Dying Girl, which also dealt with themes of serious illness and young adult romance. The film’s cast should also appeal to this young demographic, as Emilia Clarke is a rising star due to her role as Daenerys Targaryen on the HBO television show Game of Thrones (also in the film is Clarke’s Thrones co-star Charles Dance) [16], and Sam Claflin has gained fame from the Hunger Games series [17]. The film is based on the acclaimed novel of the same name by Jojo Moyes. MGM is co-producing the film with New Line Cinema (a division of Warner Bros.) and Sunswept Entertainment [18].

loc_benhur_17032016

Ben-Hur is the first of MGM’s two remakes of classic films in 2016, and will be released on August 19. It’s also the more outwardly risky- its director, Timur Bekmambetov, is hardly an established hitmaker, and the only big name in its cast is Morgan Freeman in a supporting role (the title role is played by the essentially unknown Jack Huston) [19]. Still, Ben-Hur has the name recognition of one of the most famous and successful films ever made, as well as the appeal of a big-budget summer blockbuster. MGM is co-producing the film with Paramount Pictures [20].

The Magnificent Seven, set for release on September 23, is a remake of the classic John Sturges Western starring Steve McQueen and Charles Bronson, itself a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s legendary Seven Samurai. The film is being directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Southpaw), and stars Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, and Ethan Hawke, among others [21]. That combination of commercially successful director and all-star cast is a solid predictor for the film’s financial success. Pratt, especially, has been a major draw at the box office, headlining such hits as Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic World [22]. MGM is co-producing the film with Columbia Pictures, a subsidiary of Sony Pictures [23].

MV5BMTM4ODI5MjA2N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODUwODk1OQ@@._V1_UY317_CR0,0,214,317_AL_

Michael B. Jordan [28]

In Development

Future projects of MGM’s include a recently announced reboot of the Tomb Raider series, which they will coproduce with Warner Bros [24] (Daisy Ridley, star of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, has been confirmed as being in talks to star in the series) [25]. This would be the newest in a succession of recent MGM coproductions with Warner Bros., including films like the Hobbit trilogy and Creed and its upcoming sequels [26]. Other future MGM productions include a remake of the 1968 heist thriller The Thomas Crown Affair with Creed star Michael B. Jordan [27].

Conclusion

It’s not clear whether MGM will make a return to producing or distributing films by themselves, or whether they will continue serving only in a co-producer or co-distributor role, as they have since their bankruptcy. The studio has released progressively more films per year since the 2010 bankruptcy, climbing from one release in 2010 to seven in 2015 [29]. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer is still a long way from their former position as the largest and most profitable movie studio in Hollywood [30], but the success they’ve had in their recent films and their continued financial growth bodes well for the future of the company.

[1] Koscis, James (November 10th, 2009). MGM LogoJames Koscis Design + Imaging. Retrieved: April 18th 2016.

[2] Ovide, Shira and Spector, Mike (November 5th, 2010). Everything You Need to Know about the MGM BankruptcyThe Wall Street Journal. Retrieved: April 10th 2016.

[3] Investor RelationsMGM Studios. Retrieved: April 12th 2016.

[4] Lieberman, David (March 25th, 2016). MGM Board Adds $300M To Stock Repurchase PlanDeadline. Retrieved: April 13th 2016.

[5] McNary, Dave (December 14th, 2015). Mark Burnett Named President of MGM Television. Retrieved: April 12th 2016.

[6] TodayMGM Studios. Retrieved: April 12th 2016.

[7] TodayMGM Studios. Retrieved: April 12th 2016.

[8] TodayMGM Studios. Retrieved: April 12th 2016.

[9] TodayMGM Studios. Retrieved: April 12th 2016.

[10] How to Be Single (2016)- Company CreditsIMDb. Retrieved: April 15th 2016.

[11] Barbershop: The Next Cut (2016)- Company CreditsIMDb. Retrieved: April 15th 2016.

[12] How to Be Single (2016)Box Office Mojo. Retrieved: April 10th 2016.

[13] Barbershop: The Next Cut (2016)Box Office Mojo. Retrieved: April 10th 2016.

[14] How To Be SingleIMDb. Retrieved: April 10th 2016.

[15] Titles- Me Before YouMGM Studios. Retrieved: April 17th 2016.

[16] Game of ThronesIMDb. Retrieved: April 17th 2016.

[17] Sam ClaflinIMDb. Retrieved: April 17th 2016.

[18] Me Before You- Company CreditsIMDb. Retrieved: April 17th 2016.

[19] Ben-HurIMDb. Retrieved: April 18th 2016.

[20] Ben-Hur (2016)- Company CreditsIMDb. Retrieved: April 18th 2016.

[21] The Magnificent SevenIMDb. Retrieved: April 18th, 2016.

[22] Chris PrattIMDb. Retrieved: April 18th, 2016.

[23] The Magnificent Seven (2016)- Company CreditsIMDb. Retrieved: April 18th, 2016.

[24] McNary, Dave (February 25th, 2016). Warner Bros. Joins MGM on ‘Tomb Raider’ RebootVariety. Retrieved: April 20th, 2016.

[25] Ritman, Alex (March 21st, 2016). Daisy Ridley Confirms ‘Tomb Raider’ Reboot Talks. The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved: April 20th, 2016.

[26] McNary, Dave (February 25th, 2016). Warner Bros. Joins MGM on ‘Tomb Raider’ RebootVariety. Retrieved: April 20th, 2016.

[27] Kit, Borys (February 24th, 2016). Michael B. Jordan, MGM to Remake “The Thomas Crown AffairThe Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved: April 20th, 2016.

[28] Michael B. JordanIMDb. Retrieved: April 23rd, 2016.

[29] Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer: CompletedMovie Insider. Retrieved: April 23rd, 2016.

[30] Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, IncEncyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved: April 23rd, 2016.

 

Comments are closed.