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MGM Takes Back Full Control of United Artists

24 Mar

Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios

 

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) has bought back full control of its film label United Artists.  United Artists, formed in 1919 by Charlie Chaplin and Mary Pickford, became MGM property in 1981.  In 2006, MGM split 30% of stock in United Artists between Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner.  Two films, “Lions for Lambs” and “Valkyrie,” were released from this joint venture. 

“MGM said in its 2011 financial results that it now owns a 100% interest in UA and has bought back “Lambs” and “Valkyrie” as well as two later films financed by UA: “Hot Tube Time Machine” and “Fame.”  The company also said it may resume using the United Artists banner to develop and produce new films. The news came as MGM reported financial results to the owners of its stock, which does not trade on public markets.”

MGM also reported a loss on the recent release “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” the studio’s first film investment after emerged from bankruptcy in 2010.  MGM’s second film investment after bankruptcy, “21 Jump Street,” is expected to be a success after opening last week.

The full article from the Los Angeles Times can be found at this link.

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Copyright Lawsuit Over “Valley of the Dolls”

16 Mar

Fox is now under attack for a new TV series based on the 1966 classic, “Valley of the Dolls.”  Tiger LLC has brought, among other complaints, a copyright suit.  Tiger alleges that because Fox waived it right to first and last refusal, Fox would no longer have any rights:

“Fox acquired a limited right of first and last refusal for a TV series in 1965, but expressly waived that right in 1994. The complaint quotes Fox confirming that year that ‘it shall have no further rights in or to any Owner’s Sequel or and Television Series Rights, all of which may be freely exploited by [Tiger].'”

Read the full article here.

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Win for Warner Brothers in “Last Samurai” Lawsuit

5 Mar

A U.S. District Court judge recently granted summary judgment in favor of Warner Brothers and screenwriter John Logan, stating they had not violated the rights of Aaron and Matthew Benay, brothers who filed suit in late 2005 alleging a screenplay they wrote was copied without their permission.  The brothers alleged the studio and other defendants stole from them the story behind the 2003 film “The Last Samurai.”  The Benay brothers wrote a script in the 1990s called “Last Samurai” and their literary agent “pitched” it to the president of productions at Bedford Falls.  The production company passed on the script, then in 2003 the company produced the box office hit “The Last Samurai.”

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