Goldwyn Gone, MGM Plans To Keep Buying Indies
by Mary Sampson
The Samuel Goldwyn Company is no more. Employees of the indie
acquisition company were told on Wednesday of last week that MGM, which
had purchased Metro Media (owner of Goldwyn) only a few months ago, was
dissolving the company effective immediately. Orion Pictures (also
purchased by MGM in the Metro Media deal) was dismantled as well; its
demise coming right after the deal was made. MGM had adopted a "wait and
see" attitude toward Goldwyn but decided that keeping it around was a
duplication of effort as MGM also acquires films.
In an interview with indieWIRE, Larry Gleeson, President of Worldwide
Theatrical Distribution for MGM, played down the move to close Goldwyn's
doors, saying that the 13 year old company was "not too active in the
last couple of years. MGM actually purchased more pictures over the same
period of time than they did." When asked if MGM would be purchasing
lower budget films (like Goldwyn did) he answered, "Absolutely. In fact,
we have a representative in Toronto right now." He said they plan to be
"a little more active than in the past" when it comes to buying indies.
The acquisition arm of MGM does not yet have a name. Gleeson says they
are still talking about it. Former employees of Goldwyn that were laid
off did not wish to comment on the record. But they indicated that they
were not unhappy with the way they were treated by management at MGM.