Magazine article Screen International

Is Film Losing Its Value?

Magazine article Screen International

Is Film Losing Its Value?

Article excerpt

The ongoing attempts to sell MGM and Miramax Films highlight the steep decline in the valuation of libraries but consumers are also feeling the cheapening of the product.

These are strange times for movies. News broke this week that Eon Productions has cancelled further development of the 23rd James Bond film starring Daniel Craig due to the stasis in the sale of beleagured rights-holder Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). The film, which had talent like Sam Mendes and Peter Morgan involved, would have continued the story from Quantum Of Solace which grossed $586m worldwide in 2008/9.You can't keep a gigantic production like Bond 23 pending indefinitely. Mendes has already moved on to his film of Ian McEwan's On Chesil Beach, and Craig, who, like Sean Connery, has an A-list career outside 007, is juggling movies. He's wrapped the first Tintin film for Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson, is shooting Cowboys And Aliens for Jon Favreau and is rumoured to be taking the key role of Mikeael Blomkvist in David Fincher's The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Craig has slots to fill and jobs to book and he can't hang around on the offchance the MGM situation might be resolved.Bond 23 as it currently stands is not the only casualty of the MGM situation. Guillermo Del Toro last month stepped away from further involvement developing The Hobbit after two years of work on the film. A director of his calibre couldn't stick around waiting either.The MGM situation parallels the stormy corporate dramas surrounding other library-based companies Lionsgate, which is battling lead shareholder Carl Icaahn from a hostile takeover bid, and Miramax Films, which is being sold by Disney and being pursued by a number of bidders including the Weinstein brothers and David Bergstein. Each situation is proving so troubling because of the valuation of the libraries on which these companies have been built. …

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