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MGM Studios fires up domestic theatrical distribution unit

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MUMBAI: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM) announced the revitalisation of MGM's domestic theatrical distribution business with a new strategy that calls for the release of several high profile films this year. The company named a new senior management team that will drive the growth of the distribution business and announced its 2006-2007 slate of theatrical releases.

MGM's theatrical distribution unit will now be overseen by MGM chief operating officer Rick Sands. He most recently served as the president and COO of DreamWorks SKG and is the former COO of Miramax Films and has built an experienced team of executives to manage MGM's domestic distribution.

Paramount Pictures veteran Clark Woods will serve as president, domestic theatrical distribution of MGM. In his new role, Woods, a 25-year veteran of Paramount Pictures, will supervise all aspects of theatrical distribution.

During his tenure with Paramount Pictures, Woods was involved with and spearheaded the distribution of films such as Titanic, Braveheart, Forrest Gump, Ordinary People, Raider's of the Lost Ark, Terms of Endearment, Beverly Hills Cop, Mission: Impossible and War of the Worlds.

"We have an exceptional team in place to drive the growth of MGM's domestic theatrical distribution. We expect that re-invigorating our distribution business in North America will pave the way for MGM to regain its prominence as a major force in providing new quality filmed entertainment on a global basis. As part of this strategy, we are pleased to announce an exciting slate of theatrical releases in 2006 and in the first quarter of 2007, involving many of the best actors, producers and directors in the business," said MGM chairman and CEO Harry E Sloan.

MGM's next release will be Lucky Number Slevin, which is scheduled to be released on 7 April in association with The Weinstein Company..

"We are rapidly expanding MGM's distribution business. Going forward, through partnerships with independent production companies and studios, we plan to continually build an outstanding slate of releases. Working with these independent production companies, will enable us to focus on North American distribution as well as rights management worldwide. The future is about content and we are working to freshen and bulk up our world-class library, which will further enhance the value of the company," said Sands.

MGM's films (with video rights) will be distributed in the home video marketplace by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and also be made available on the Blu-Ray format.

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