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Thompson on Hollywood

Media Watch: Stock Market Hits Hollywood Hard

U.S. stocks rose Friday after some optimistic news from Europe following this week's steep stock market slide. Not surprisingly, this week's dizziness-inducing economic slingshot has been felt in cities all around the world, not least of which is Hollywood.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • August 5, 2011 7:01 AM
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MGM Lenders Vote on Reorg, SpyGlass Chiefs Barber and Birnbaum Take Over After Chapter 11

Thursday, MGM started to solicit votes from its secured lenders for its planned reorganization. MGM will continue to do business during its restructuring process, such as it is. When MGM comes out from Chapter 11, SpyGlass co-chairman and CEO Roger Birnbaum and Gary Berber will emerge as co-chairman and CEO of the new MGM. Their announcement explains:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 7, 2010 10:35 AM
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MGM in Flux, Jackson Wants Hobbits, Weinsteins Lose Library, Ortenberg to Apparition

There's a lot going on in Hollywood this summer, as the economy and DVD declines continue to take their toll on several struggling distributors, from MGM and Lionsgate to the Weinstein Co., Overture and Apparition. MGM is in flux, as it struggles to pull itself back from the brink of bankruptcy and figure out a way to get The Hobbit films made with Peter Jackson at the helm. But whether that's possible is still the question. MGM needs help.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 25, 2010 7:33 AM
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The Hobbit and Next James Bond Await MGM Picks to Run Studio

With MGM creditors calling the shots and debating the future of the studio with MGM management, the cold reality is that no one is going to buy MGM at the valuation the studio needs as it copes with its $3.7 billion debt load. Thus the next phase of MGM's reorganization will likely involve bringing in some entity to exchange some debt for equity and run the studio. Top of the list of possible partners are Spyglass, Summit and the guy who thought up this solution, Amir Malin of Qualia Capital, a private media and entertainment equity fund. He made an offer to infuse MGM with some $500 million to run a lean operation in hopes that the economy and Wall Street would eventually improve.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 28, 2010 6:22 AM
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Film Department, Overture, Apparition, Weinsteins Sell Sizzle In Tough Economy

As Mark Gill and Neil Sacker's Film Department seeks new funding via an IPO, they're announcing that they're plunking down some of their remaining cash on a new script produced by Michael De Luca, the original action-comedy True Memoirs of an International Assassin, written by Jeff Morris. Why telegraph this news?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 3, 2010 11:33 AM
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MGM Catches Reprieve from Lenders

MGM has been under serious duress as it attempts to stay in business, while keeping up with even the interest owed on its staggering $3.7-billion debt. While the following statement indicates that the company will be relieved of three interest payments, there are miles to go before MGM comes out in the clear. The struggling studio has avoided being forced into bankruptcy by its creditors, which would have decreased the value of the company, which still owns a 4,000-title movie library as well as the Bond and Pink Panther franchises.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 1, 2009 11:27 AM
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Hollywood Health Report

Hollywood Health Report
Each day brings more news of a troubled company needing debt restructuring or a management overhaul. The Weinstein Co. and MGM are just the latest examples. All the studios face pressure from their corporate parents in a grim recession amid declining ad and DVD revenues. Sales are down across the board, including classic rereleases, and less precipitously, specialty titles.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 18, 2009 7:43 AM
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Hollywood Confronts New Austerity

Patrick Goldstein calls around to nail down the new austerity hitting Hollywood. And Kim Masters details pay cuts for Denzel Washington and Tom Cruise, as well as how cost-cutter Disney is trying to deal with spendthrift producer Jerry Bruckheimer, the exemplar of Hollywood's old ways.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 4, 2009 4:27 AM
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Major Studios Won't Consolidate, but Minors May Merge

The economy is a ruthless, Darwinian Master. Only the strong shall survive, and that applies to the mighty studios as well as everyone else. Sure, the theatrical market is holding up pretty well. But for every Fast & Furious, Star Trek and The Hangover there's a cynically bloated flop like Land of the Lost (for which Universal pulled print ads on its second weekend) or Imagine That. (The Wrap was inspired to do a quickie Stars Who Should Worry chart including Will Ferrell and Eddie Murphy, which probably got the site into more trouble than it was worth.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 16, 2009 7:19 AM
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Will GE Sell NBC Universal to Time Warner?

As the reeling economy puts more pressure on Hollywood's giant conglomerates, and the Internet looms as the ultimate unknown devaluator, The Daily Beast's Kim Masters reports that at some point in time, whether it's sooner or later, General Electric will be forced to unload NBC Universal--no matter how well it's doing--and that Time Warner's Jeffrey Bewkes might not be able to resist buying it:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 24, 2009 7:54 AM
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