by Lyndsey Lombard
10250 Constellation Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90067 310.449.3000 / www.mgm.com
A Brief History
MGM (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer) Studios is an American media and entertainment company that produces and distributes films and television programs. It was founded in April 1924 and has been producing classic films since then such as “Rocky,” “West Side Story,” and “The Wizard of Oz.” While the company has not been producing as many movies independently after coming back from bankruptcy in 2010, it still is responsible for distributing many recent popular films . MGM currently has a distribution deal with Sony Pictures Entertainment, which allowed it to distribute the most recent Bond movie, “Skyfall” . Some of the current films MGM has co-produced are “The Hobbit,” “21 Jump Street,” and “Hansel and Gretel.”
Gary Barber is Chairman and CEO of MGM, Inc. and has held this position since October 2012. Previously, he served as Co-Chariman and CEO since December 2010 alongside Roger Birnbaum. Barber and Birbaum founded Spyglass Entertainment together in 1998 . With Barber’s help, MGM has been able to make a strong comeback after declaring bankruptcy in 2010.
Ken Schapiro took on the title of Chief Operating Officer in February 2011. He was previously the co-founder of the private investment management company, Qualia Capital LLC .
As President of the Motion Picture Group, Jonathan Glickman, is in charge of the production and development of all MGM films. He too has a successful history prior to this position at Spyglass Entertainment .
The future is looking up for MGM post-bankruptcy. After MGM acquired Carl Icahn’s stake for $590 million in July 2012, the company went public . According to the 2012 year-end results, revenue was up 97% over 2011. They reported total revenue of $1.38 billion, which was an increase of $681 million from the prior year.
“Skyfall” and “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” landed MGM with two films in the top 15 of box office history. These two films also gave MGM the title of being the only studio to have two back-to-back films make $1 billion at the box office.
“Skyfall” was named the biggest James Bond release of all time and also the biggest film in the UK by crossing the £100 million mark.
The total home entertainment revenue of 2012 was greater than that of 2011 even though no new titles were released. The fourth quarter was extremely strong with $96 million in revenue, which shows how successful the promotions for James Bond 50th anniversary were. The worldwide home entertainment generated a total of $195 million, which was $1 million more than the prior year.
The worldwide television licensing revenue generated a total of $395 million, which was also a large increase by $23 million from the prior year.
The 2012 Adjusted EBITDA showed a 48% increase to $286 million. It was adjusted due to revenue growth. The revenue growth was so substantial that it offset the increase in marketing, distribution, and operating expenses .
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters was released January 25, 2013 and directed by Tommy Wirkola. MGM co-produced it with Paramount. It is a twist on the children’s fairy tale, Hansel & Gretel. In the movie, Hansel and Gretel are all grown up and now bounty hunters that kill witches. It was released in 3D and IMAX. The movie made $19 million in its opening weekend and $219 million total worldwide. It made a lot more money overseas than domestically. Its production budget was $50 million . Hansel & Gretel will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on June 11, 2013.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation was released March 29, 2013 and directed by Jon M. Chu. This is the third movie out of the series and it starred new cast members such as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Bruce Willis. It was #1 its opening weekend making $40 million. Its total worldwide gross is $231 million so far. Its production budget was $130 million. This movie was also released in 3D and IMAX .
Carrie is an upcoming horror film that is the third adaptation of the Stephen King’s 1974 novel, Carrie. The film is co-produced by MGM and Screen Gems. It stars Chloe Moretz and Julianne Moore. The release date is set for October 18, 2013. With this release, MGM and Screen Gems are hoping to stay as close to the original novel’s storyline. Their current promotion for the movie is extremely original. At the end of the trailer, they provide you with a toll free number to call, which plays back a scene with the characters.
Future MGM Films
There is definitely a trend of adaptations and remakes in MGM’s upcoming film releases. Two other upcoming releases are “RoboCop,” which is set to release February 7, 2014, and “Hercules: The Thracian Wars,” which is set to release August 8, 2014.
“RoboCop” is a science fiction action film that will feature Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Keaton, and Gary Oldman. It is a remake of the original 1987 film. José Padihla, a Brazilian film director, who has not released a feature film in the U.S. yet, will direct it .
“Hercules: The Thracian Wars” will feature Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Hercules in this adaptation of the Radical Studios graphic novel from 2008. Its main competition in the box office will be Disney/Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which is set to release a week prior. If this movie is successful, it could lead to another franchise for MGM .
More recently MGM has teamed up with GK Films to develop a new Tomb Raider franchise based on the Lara Croft video game franchise. The two original films from 2001 and 2003 that starred Angelina Jolie grossed $432 million worldwide so MGM hopes to achieve the same success .
“The Hobbit” trilogy was confirmed in a MGM news release this past February. The second film, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” was given a December 13, 2013 release date and the third film, “The Hobbit: There and Back Again,” was officially given the release date of December 17, 2014. The first film in the trilogy did so well that they hope the success will follow throughout. MGM is co-producing these films 50/50 with New Line Cinema .
With all of these plans in place, MGM’s future looks strong and successful.
1. MGM History
3. MGM Today