When MGM shipwrecked last spring, it left the fate of The Hobbit, James Bond and two unreleased films in question (Cabin the Woods, Red Dawn). As of today, the company has figured out their release plans for the current and older titles. Sony will handle the theatrical distribution and Fox will handle their home video. Unknown in this split is when Cabin or Dawn will see the light of day.
MGM has been in a weak position for years as a mini-major, but was able to bolster itself when the DVD boom hit by getting DVD’s in supermarkets. When people were curious about DVD’s, this was a major win for the studio. But as time wore on, they were unable to keep up theatrically. These problems were noticable when Casino Royale was released, which was distributed theatrically by Sony – who also handled the theatrical release of Quantum of Solace.
For Fox, their catalog DVD and Blu-ray titles seemed like a good deal a couple of years ago, but the value of that back catalog has decreased with the value of home video sales. That said, a lot of their catalog films are considered perennials, and it’s easier to move a Blu-ray of Some Like it Hot or the Bond titles than most. They have good collector-centric titles.
Nothing has been said about their unreleased films, but likely Sony will give them a once-over and see where to slot them next year. At this point they’ve been sitting around for so long that it’s hard to hold it against them… it’s not like they were sitting around because they were bad and now it’s a situation of “when” instead of “if.” Sony wanted Bond, and likely their catalog remake rights. In an era of franchises, few films have stood the test of time, and have been consistent moneymakers globally like Bond, so it’s not a bad get.
But for fans this means only one thing: More Bond.
Are you happy to hear the Lion roar again?