Debt-ridden MGM could be sold
The MGM lion, a star of cinema since the 1920s, may be looking for a new home amid rumours that the studio is to be sold off in the Hollywood equivalent of a fire sale. Reportedly saddled with debts totalling $3.7bn (£2.2bn), the company looks likely to sell its MGM and United Artists libraries to the highest bidder in the next few weeks.
Variety suggests that the studio's film archive, which includes the lucrative James Bond adventures, may be snapped up by a major company such as Time-Warner. The famous logo featuring Leo the lion could well be auctioned off separately. Either way, it appears that the heyday of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer is officially over.
Founded in 1924, MGM operated under the motto "Ars Gratia Artis", a Latin phrase meaning "art for art's sake". The company enjoyed a long and profitable heyday thanks to the success of films such as The Wizard of Oz, Gone With the Wind and Singin' in the Rain. It scored what was arguably its biggest hit in 1959 with the Oscar-winning Ben Hur.
In recent years, however, the company's output has dwindled and it has become increasingly reliant on money generated by the 007 franchise. MGM has released only three pictures in 2009: The Pink Panther 2 and the remakes Fame and The Taking of Pelham 123. All of these were co-productions with other studios.Source: Guardian Online