MGM Regains Full Control of United Artists, Posts Loss on ‘Dragon Tattoo’

It’s been about a year since MGM had to file for bankruptcy, and it looks like the company’s idea of celebrating is to make a whole bunch of changes from within, starting with the revival of its famous United Artists film label.

In a filing released this week, MGM says that it has regained full control of the United Artists label, which means that the company bought out the 30 percent shares owned by Tom Cruise and his producing partner, Paula Wagner. Nothing is decided yet, but MGM said that executives are considering using the United Artists banner to “develop and produce new films.”

United Artists became an MGM property back in 1981, having been originally formed in 1919 by Charlie Chaplin and Mary Pickford. In 2006, MGM split 30 percent of the label’s stock between Cruise and Wagner with the intention of releasing films. Only two films, Lions for Lambs and Valkyrie, were released via the joint venture, and the United Artists label went largely unused.

As part of MGM’s reacquisition of United Artists, the company picked up the rights to Lions for Lambs and Valkyrie, as well as several other United Artists-funded projects such as Hot Tub Time Machine and Fame.

In less exciting news for MGM, the filing went on to reveal that generated a net income of around $38 million on $699 million so far in 2011, with a “modest” portion of the losses being attributed to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

Dragon Tattoo has so far generated more than $230 million worldwide, but MGM said that the earnings still weren’t enough to make up for their investment.

“While this is a solid result, it is below our expectations and we booked a modest loss,” MGM CEO Gary Barber said during a conference call with investors.

via Chicago Tribune

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