Paramount Hopes To Win Distribution Rights To BOND 23
Prepare yourself for major distribution negotiations to distribute Bond 23!
As we reported earlier, the new James Bond film has an official release date of November 9th, 2012. The remaining question is which studio will win distribution rights to the next installment of one of the most lucrative franchises?
Currently, the lead contenter looks to be Paramount Pictures. The studio has a close relationship with MGM co-chairmen Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum. THR reports that they have informally gotten a first crack at the negotiation.
Sony Pictures, who released the last two installments in the franchise is also at the top of the list to distribute the new film They have a good relationship with the Broccoli family, owner of the Bond rights which will work in their favor. Even though the studio is on good terms with the Broccolis, a knowledgeable source says the family has approved Paramount as a prospective distributor and that preliminary talks have begun. The final decision is likely to be announced in the next couple of weeks and will greatly depend on what is sure to tough bargaining.
Bond is the main tentpole for all of MGM and because of their financial state, Birnbaum and Barber will look to make as much out of this deal as possible. MGM is reported to most likely seek a bank-breakin distribution fee for Bond and other future films and that could cause Paramount to bow out of negotiations. Typical distribution fees run about 8% (the rate Paramount makes for releasing DreamWorks Animation films).
An insider believe that MGM will seek a fee as low as 6% for Bond and ask for a larger sum for future films. Paramount will in turn likley insist on holding at the standard 8% for Bond. MGM is reportedly also interested in partnering on some films Paramount has in development currently.
The last two Bond films starring Daniel Craig (Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace) have grossed about $600 million worldwide. While that is a large amount of money, a chunk of the take goes to the Broccoli family and others. Now that Marvel is under Disney, the studio will likely be looking for a guaranteed tentpole film like the Bond franchise.
Sony had a crappy holiday season with the James L. Brooks box office bomb How Do You Know, which means they are also looking for a tentpole. The big unknown now is if they are interested in another MGM product. Many consider the Broccoli family to lean toward Sony and co-chairman Amy Pascal, who oversaw the successful reboot of the Bond franchise with Craig. Sources say Sony spent $200 million on the last film and nearly as much to market it worldwide.
Bond 23 is directed by Sam Mendes and will likely cost less than $150 million. It is currenlty not known if MGM will finance all or part of the film. A source closest to Paramount believes MGM would like to finance the film and cover marketing costs.
All I know is that I can’t wait to see Daniel Craig as James Bond on screen again. I do not personally care about which studio distributes it, but this is definitley worthy to report on. What are your thoughts?