Sony Pictures is bracing for life without the lucrative James Bond franchise, reports the Los Angeles Times.
The company inherited the right to co-finance and distribute 2006’s Casino Royale following their $4.9-billion buyout of MGM with a consortium of investors the previous year.
Following the massive box office success of Daniel Craig’s debut 007 film around the world, Sony received a huge percentage of the profits. According to a person familiar with the matter, because Sony put up 75% of the film’s reported $150 million budget, they received an even bigger cut of the profit than MGM.
At the tme of Casino Royale‘s release, however, this agreement between the two companies came to an end. MGM’s board voted unanimously to dump Sony as the domestic distributor of its DVDs after the studio failed to meet certain performance targets. This is turn also forced Sony to give up the Bond franchise, although they did manage to negotiate one final Bond entry, Quantum of Solace, which is currently breaking records left and right around the world.
‘We grew to love these movies,’ said Amy Pascal, co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment in a recent interview. ‘Obviously, we’d love to stay involved, but it’s not our decision, it’s MGM’s.’
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