MGM Bankrupt? The Hobbit Needs a Bailout

Just when all the news about The Hobbit put a shiny light on the progress, another dark shadow looms overhead. One even the Fellowship may not be able to rescue them from. Unless of course the Fellowship has a spare 3 billion dollars.

MGM appears to be on the brink of bankruptcy and recently begged their investors for a break so they could fund their upcoming films like the Hobbit.

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It turns out that the studio is on the verge of bankruptcy.

The call was to make a desperate plea for money in the amount of $20 million in short term and another $150 million to get through the rest of the year. One major project that MGM needs to fund is Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit” prequel.

So what happens when MGM can’t get their own bailout.

Does this mean the end of films opening with a lion’s roar?

Does this mean doom for The Hobbit films? I am sure there will be other studios more than willing to pick up the rights to The Hobbit should MGM close doors, but this just means more delays.

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15 thoughts on “MGM Bankrupt? The Hobbit Needs a Bailout

  1. Unfortunately, MGM’s troubles also affected all its other independent features. Meaning, award-winning films like ours have to regroup and find another distributor mid-stream. No recourse when a distributor fails. Everything falls back on the producer just as he’s struggling to recoup his investment.

  2. I don’t feel bad for them. This was the same studio that wanted to “Dunisize” the Lord of the Rings back when Peter, Fran and Phillipa were shopping their script around.

    What I mean by that, is that they wanted to take a complex, sprawling epic story like LOTR and make it into *gasp* – one film. And when Peter & Co. said that it couldn’t be done that way MGM basically told them to get lost. It wasn’t until they saw the finished product (how to make a sprawling epic the RIGHT way)and how financially successful it was that they decided to work with Jackson on The Hobbit. If they go under another studio will release it. No big deal to me.

  3. MGM has the rights to Bond and Stargate as their two long term holdings. With Stargate SGU TV show returning to the air waves on SyFy, and the direct to TV Stargate SG1 series making a return sometime in January they have a strong library.
    It is more about the library’s that MGM owns that will be important. If they were to go under, the bidding process on the library could become important to fans, as some of those movies that are not out on DVD/BluRay, might be released (although I do not know of any specifically).
    Theocrat Issak

  4. The Lion’s Roar will always be there… the MGM classics are classic and will always be there. I’m not going to shed too many tears if the current company “MGM” goes under. Let’s face it, they’re not exactly Warner Brothers anymore.

    That said, I highly doubt The Hobbit won’t be filmed, or even delayed too much. If the rights are sold, I find it hard to believe they’d want to screw this up. They want Peter Jackson’s Hobbit movies (even if the first won’t be directed by Peter Jackson)… they’re going to be a guaranteed cash cow. Part of me thinks The Hobbit could meet or even exceed the profits of the LOTR films… in addition to all the fans of the movies and the books, The Hobbit is more attractive to kids. I’m sure they’ll try to de-kiddify it some, but I still think this is going to be a more watchable, less scary movie that could probably capture a larger slice of that under 10 audience… and their parents.

  5. Well when you look at there more recent releases
    Charlie Bartlet- 5mil world wide
    Pathology-3mil ww
    Igor-actually made 30 mil ww and only cost 25 mil to make, but also they probably spent a bit of money on ads and theaters get some cut.
    How to Lose Friends and Alienate people- I Simon Pegg movie with Megan Fox as supporting, what more is there to say.
    Valkerie-did ok at best
    Pink Panther 2- how do you think it did?
    Fame-Do you really think this is gunna make any money at all?

  6. My question is “How did they go bankrupt”?
    Yes, the obvious answer is they spent more money than they made, but on what?

    Many studios that close do so due to financial failures of films (Cutthroat Island, Titan AE, Heaven’s Gate, Final Fantasy, etc). So what flops did MGM release? Shouldn’t they be living high on the continued sales of their previous films (Bond?) or their other library assents like the Orion films (Terminator 1, Robocop series, Amadeus, Platoon, Dances with Wolves, Silence of the Lambs, etc)?

    1. Those are all old movies. and if you look at their movie like projects they do they’ve done about 370 sense 2000.
      And even with inflation only one movie of this decade is on their top 10 list on Boxofficemojo.

  7. I would hate to see them go, and it won’t help UA any… I don’t want MGM to fade away. I want the Lion to roar once more.

    But the writing on the wall has been there for some time. The studio itself has been troubled for years. It pains me to say it, I don’t want to admit to it. It just is.

    BTW, despite of what is reported here, The Hobbit is not in that much danger. MGM won’t back out, it may very well be the Hail Mary pass and even if they do it won’t kill the Hobbit. Far from it.

    Look, this is a project where it is one or more of the following:

    – A prequel film/series of films to an Oscar winning film series box office behemoth;

    – A film/series of films which has a built in name in both novel and film;

    – A film/series of films which has top talent connected to it;

    – A film/series of films which the public would be interested in seeing.

    – More for WB and The Wienstiens in a worst case situation.

    – I am preaching to the choir.

  8. WOW! This just sucks big time. Here we thought the Hobbit was finally on it’s way. With Guillermo del Toro at the helm and all this fantastic casting news.

    A sad day indeed. Hope some one can bail MGM out or give them a break until the Hobbit gets made and in theaters to make them some money. Seeing that lion head fade away is gonna be pretty sad too, no longer able to make more of that great movie history MGM has already brought to us all over there many long years.

    What if Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro bailed them out? You know between the 2 of them they probably have at least half billion dollars. Or one of them could fund the new Hobbit films, like how Gorge Lucas funds the Star Wars movies himself.

  9. I hope they can recover. I would hate to see the company that produced The Wizard of Oz go out of business. The absence of the lion’s roar opening a film would be a dark day in Hollywood indeed…

    Speaking of MGM, what is the reason behind Disney changing the name from Disney-MGM Studios to Disney’s Hollywood Studios? Was it a random decision or did they split their partnership?

    1. Disney MGM is the Distribution branch of MGM that handles the home video rights to the ABC Motion Pictures library, under license from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment.

      I am sure all their subsidiaries will be affected should MGM as a whole go bankrupt.

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