Oh No, MGM Might Snatch Up the Rights to Terminator 5?
by Alex Billington
May 14, 2009
This is not good news - I'm going to tell you that right up front. Variety is reporting that the rights to Terminator 5, the sequel to McG's Terminator Salvation, may end up reverting back to MGM. The studio has a 30-day right of first refusal to finance and distribute the fifth Terminator film, a right earned through a settlement of a lawsuit between the studio and The Halcyon Company, who owns the franchise rights to Terminator. Apparently MGM has every intention of making a bid for the franchise, stealing it right out from under Warner Brothers, who is distributing in the US, and Sony, who is distributing internationally.
If it was any other studio, sure, but MGM is the worst place the Terminator franchise could end up! Why, you ask? Well, if you can't think of any other MGM releases recently, that's part of the reason. And the two recent James Bond films don't count, those were released in partnership with Sony. The studio doesn't even have a publicity department and their marketing has always been way under par. The only reason we're all excited for Terminator Salvation right now is because of Warner Brothers. MGM has The Hobbit, RoboCop, and The Matarese Circle coming up, but I'm sure they'll be released in partnership as well.
Word is that MGM could pass since they don't have the money. The third and fourth films required an investment of approximately $50 million from Warner Brothers for domestic, with Sony paying in the vicinity of $75 million for international rights, which became more expensive because Sony acquired additional territories from Halcyon, including Japan. Let's hope it's too expensive for MGM to afford, because I don't want to see them twiddling their thumbs with the release of Terminator 5. Back in Decemeber, Halcyon preemptively agreed to make the sequel, well before they knew its box office run.
We'll be hoping and praying that MGM either passes on this, or they strike some deal with another (more responsible) studio like Warner Brothers or Sony again. Considering how much I enjoyed Terminator Salvation, this franchise needs to remain in the best hands moving forward. And that's not with MGM.
Reader Feedback - 28 Comments
Wait, Alex, you mean you don't want the remaining Terminator films to be average, run of the mill movies? Valkyrie and Steve Martin's Pink Panthers were HUGE! I concur. Let's leave things the way they are.
Widescreen Wonderland on May 14, 2009
That is bad news but on the flip side no McG would be good news.
Cat on May 14, 2009
MGM is owned by Sony, although they operate independent... And if T4 will become the box-office it looks like it will, then no marketing will be required 😉
Tschai on May 14, 2009
its better than fox ?
nelson on May 14, 2009
I don´t get it, Alex. Why would MGM be such a terrible place? you only mentioned GOOD projects from them, even though you´re talking abou partnerships. Well, what if Terminator ends up in a partnership as well? You may have a point there, of course, but I thought it was a weak post, there´s a lack of foundation there. I don´t know much of the specifics and couldn´t make a list of bad handling on their projects, so I was expecting you to do that. I mean, why EXACTLY is MGM a bad place? where are their bad moves? where are the movies with lack of care? I´m only writing this because your site for me is the best, I go to others, but yours is the first one I visit everyday because I trust on your taste (VERY similar to mine) and the good informations you´re able to get. So I got worried when I saw such a weak text on my favorite website, should I go somewhere else? I hope not. Actually, I think you should think with less emotion and leave your tastes for the actual movies, the business is not what you´re the best at as I coud see. Right, comment #1 mentioned 2 bad examples, wich is a simple move and is the one I was expecting from you. This is NOT a big deal, what I´m saying may sound a bit overreacted, but I think it´s just because english is not my native language, so what I tend to do is try to cover EVERY bit of detail of something I want to discuss. You can see this more as a "Why exactly did you think that, Alex?", wich is simply what I wanted to know, but you see, I just wanted to throw out everything that crossed my mind.
felipe on May 14, 2009
It says something of the sad state of things when you don't have faith in one of the oldest film and most iconic of the classic film studios.
Sean Kelly on May 14, 2009
Darn typos. Ignore the first "film" in the previous comment.
Sean Kelly on May 14, 2009
FOX FOX FOX FOX FOX FOX ! please join the bidding
tom rothman on May 14, 2009
Thanks a lot, Alex. =) I didn´t actually overreacted, I think I thought about it too much. I don´t know squat (love this word) about business in this industry, so I got lost at first, but it´s clearer now. You see how informed I am when thought #1 mentioned movies released by MGM. =P I don´t think a huge discussion would be needed, what you said is just enough, at least for me, to understand it.
felipe on May 14, 2009
your spot on alex big films like this need big studios .come on alex was terminator salvation really good ?
jono on May 14, 2009
Sony owns MGM now. MGM is a different place than it was before.
Darunia on May 14, 2009
to TSCHAI. post n3 thats the stupidest comment i have ever seen in my life, " And if T4 will become the box-office it looks like it will, then no marketing will be required " the only reason people are awared of t4 coming out, all those trailers, tv spots we are seen months even before t4 hit the theatre, THATS CALLED MARKETING, and thats where 90 % of the total marketing budget is spend on, so obviously once its a box office success , NO FURTHER marketing is required,atles until until blu ray, but thats minimum, maybe 5 % of the total. i have to agree MGM been way behind for the past decades and it wont make a come back at all. but eventho t5 goes to MGM, they can still go on a partnership as they always have been. speicially due to lack of fund
pinkSushi on May 14, 2009
#13 - I´m almost sure that it was a joke. relax.
felipe on May 14, 2009
Terminator 3 sucked dick and anyone who likes anything sucks major cock you here me world you all like men
Dr Robotnik on May 14, 2009
Umm you are dead wrong Alex. DEAD WRONG. You are a WB whore hence you are supporting Terminator salvation but I frankly speaking couldn't give a fuck. Even if it was a FOX movie and it was the same exact thing as we are seeing right now then I would have still supported it. The movie looks really really good. Hence, you are supporting it. If you are supporting it just because it has WB tag then you are a shill. SONY & WB are distributing this internationally and domestically respectively as u said. I think it is HALYCON that has actually made the movie or maybe I am wrong. Nonetheless I think it is okay if Terminator goes to other studio.
JoJo on May 14, 2009
I agree with what Alex is saying. Let's talk about another movie that I and many others thought was amazing but had poor marketing and that was Liam Neison's "Taken". I rarely saw any kind of marketing for the film until like a week before release. (maybe a little before but nothing like it should have gotten). What Alex is trying to say is that, huge movies need to go to big studios so they can get the attention they deserve.
Curtis G on May 14, 2009
MGM has such great heritage it would be wonderful if they could sort themselves out and become a force to be reckoned with again. That iconic logo alone is enough reason to love them. But they're in trouble and I doubt they can afford to outbid Warners: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/e3id8b91cde574aee65b402a465b1450913
Mathieu on May 14, 2009
Alex your right WB understand how to market a big budget film like this MGM dont know how to promote anything well
movieboy on May 14, 2009
# 18 but taken made $144,275,747and thats the 3 best grossing film in January ever and its also the taken best grossing kidnapping movie so i guess if i movie is good it can do well even with out good marketing
Hollie T on May 14, 2009
Alex has the right idea, and I agree with Curtis as well. Taken was a great film but never got a good foothold. It was released poorly, therefore not doing very well. This is a problem, for now.
Merc on May 14, 2009
@ #20 Yes, but Taken wasn't released everywhere at once (It wasn't out in some places until a whole year later).
Rai on May 14, 2009
We're excited over this? Never the less, let anyone have it. Frankly it's a franchise that can die. They all need to so we can get some new material. ALthough 10-20 years from now they'll just be rebooted again.
LSP on May 14, 2009
Mat on May 14, 2009
F**k MGM; f**k them in there stupid f**king Asses.
Last Son Vs. Blatch on May 14, 2009
Who cares who owns what...so long as it doesnt stink
Tedious Ted on May 15, 2009
Terminator: Salvation: It has enough pace and excitement to keep action fans switched on, This is Sam Worthington's movie, and he steals it, decent action film, far superior to the awful Terminator 3. Despite some laughably silly plot elements, McG has created an overall entertaining movie experience. Being a rabid fan that grew up on the franchise created by James Cameron, the idea of McG getting behind the camera for this sequel was slightly nauseating, and yet, by some miracle, the fourth film in the franchise is (barely) passable.
George on Aug 22, 2009
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