by Joanna Monfreda
MGM Studios Inc.
245 N Beverly Dr.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Chairman and CEO
President, Motion Picture Group
President, Television Group and Digital
HistoryIn 1924 Metro Pictures Corp., Goldwyn Pictures, and Louis B. Mayer merged to form Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, a company that would go on to win 200 Academy Awards and uphold itself to an outstanding level of cinema creation. Known for films such as The Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind, and hundreds more, the film production company paved its way during the beginning days of cinema as the leading studio in the business. [I] Through their peak from the 1930s to the 1950s MGM had many contracted actors such as Frank Sinatra, Fred Astaire, Elizabeth Taylor, and Lucille Ball. [II] Through the 1960s and 1970s, MGM studio was less successful than it had been in the golden age. In the hands of Kirk Kerkorian, many of the studio’s prized props, historical lots, and other possessions were sold. He then put most of the company’s money towards the construction of the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. [III] The studio’s downhill spiral continued into bankruptcy in 2010 where the company was in 4 billion dollars of debt and desperately needed an overhaul. Since then MGM has slowly been working on building itself back up. [IV]
MGM Holdings Inc. made $233.5 million dollars in revenue in their third quarter ending in September 2014. The quarter included the months of July, August and September. The company saw $6.5 million dollars from theatrical revenue in these three months, which came from the release of Hercules in areas where MGM controls distribution.Their worldwide home entertainment revenue was $41.7 million. This was impacted by the home distribution release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and RoboCop. Another $150.6 million came from worldwide television licensing this quarter. This revenue came from not only the licensing of Teen Wolf, Fargo, and Viking, but from the television licensing of Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and their horror film, Carrie. This is less than the company’s third quarter in 2013, but that is due to how much of an impact Skyfall had on the company’s revenue last year. [V]
What’s Happening NowThe Town That Dreaded Sundown was released by Orion Pictures on October 16th, 2014. [VI] There hasn’t been talk of MGM pushing Orion Pictures to be a stand-alone studio, but they do have their hands in other future film distribution deals. [VI][VII]
Along with Orion Pictures, MGM is also rebuilding United Artists. This September MGM spent $343.8 million dollars on a 55% ownership in a joint venture with Roma Downey, Mark Burnett, and Hearst Entertainment’s Steven Swartz to create United Artists Media Group. This merge includes Downey and Burnett’s production companies LightWorkers Media and One Three Media. MGM originally purchased United Artists in 1981, and since then the studio has gone through many different hands.LightWorkers Media and One Three Media are responsible for shows such as The Voice, Survivor, The Celebrity Apprentice, The Bible and Shark Tank. United Artists Media Group is now leaning towards producing more faith based content and will be launching a faith focused, subscription channel called “Over The Top” or OTT. The channel will have new and old faith focused programming including Christian music videos, and both film and television content. [VIII] The executives saw success from their spiritual driven content such as The Bible and Son of God. They seek to target audiences interested in faith and family content because their ratings have shown there is a market for it. [IX] While the MGM works to put together a team to bring OTT to life, they are also looking into other film and digital media ventures as well. [X]
MGM collaborated with Warner Brothers on If I Stay a film based on the popular, young-adult novel written by Gayle Forman. The film was made with an 11 million dollar budget, and directed by R.J. Cutler. It was released on August 22th, 2014 of this year, and closed on November 6th, 2014. Its eleven-week run grossed 78.3 million dollars worldwide. [XI]
What’s to Come
On December 17th, 2014 the last film of The Hobbit series The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies will be released. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey grossed over one billion dollars worldwide, while its sequel, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug grossed 958.4 million dollars worldwide. [XII][XIII]With such a large fan base, there are high expectations for the amount of money the ending film of the trilogy will bring the studio. [XIV]
ABC has just announced a spin off of Shark Tank that will be produced by MGM’s United Artists Media Group and Sony Picture Television called Beyond the Tank.
It will be a series documenting past contestants current success and business state after being on the show. The network has called for 10 one-hour episodes, but has not released a premiere date. [XV]
On November 27th, 2014 NBC released their first trailer for A.D.: Beyond the Bible produced by MGM’s United Artists Media Group. Roma Downey and Mark Burnett will be the show’s executive producers.The mini-series is scheduled to premiere on April 5th, 2015, which is Easter Sunday. It is a sequel to The Bible, and begins at the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The series continues the story of the creation of the Christian faith. [XVI]
The company already has two films are scheduled to be released in 2015. The first, Hot Tub Time Machine 2, will be produced in collaboration with Paramount Pictures. The sequel’s theatrical release is directed by Steve Pink, and will be February 20th, 2015. [XVII] The second, in collaboration with 20th Century Fox, will be a remake of the 1982 horror film Poltergeist. It’s directed by Gil Kenan, and its release date is October 26th, 2015. [XVIII]
[I] MGM History mgm.com. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
[II] The Historic MGM Studios seeing-stars.com. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
[III] MGM Again: 87 Years of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studio History moviefanfare.com. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
[IV] MGM Files for Bankruptcy Protection nytimes.com. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
[V] MGM Third Quarter Financial Report mgm.com. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
[VI] Iconic Film Company Orion Pictures Returns After 15 Years slashfilm.com. Retrieved 26 November 2014
[VII] MGM Quietly Revives Orion Pictures deadline.com. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
[VIII] MGM, LightWorkers Media and One Three Media Merge mgm.com. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
[IX] Mark Burnett: MGM Deal Will Drive Faith and Family Channel variety.com. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
[X] Creation of the United Artists Media Group deadline.com. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
[XI] If I Stay Box Office Results boxofficemojo.com. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
[XII] The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey Box Office Results boxofficemojo.com. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
[XIII] The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Box Office Results boxofficemojo.com. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
[XIV] The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Trailer Release variety.com. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
[XV] Inspired by the success of “Shark Tank” ABC Announces Launch of “Beyond the Tank” mgm.com. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
[XVI] NBC’s “A.D.” Trailer Promo Released: Riveting Portrayal of Passion of Christ christiantimes.com. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
[XVII] Details of Hot Tub Time Machine 2 ropeofsilicon.com. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
[XVIII] Details of Poltergeist Remake ropeofsilicon.com. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
 MGM logo mgmlogo.jpg. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
 Gary Barber socialregister.co.uk. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
 Jonathan Glickman socialregister.co.uk.com. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
 Roma Khanna deadline.com. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
 Alfred Hitchcock Serving Leo the Lion instagram.com. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
 Hercules imdb.com. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
 The Town that Dreaded Sundown imdb.com. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
 Orion Pictures manlymovie.net. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
 United Artist Media Group insidetv.ew.com. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
 Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies imdb.com. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
 Shark Tank imdb.com. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
 If I Stay imdb.com. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
 A.D.: Beyond the Bible comingsoon.net. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
 RoboCop imdb.com. Retrieved 26 November 2014.