MGM watch: Craig’s `Dragon Tatoo’ loses money, LA Times says

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, trying to comeback from bankruptcy, had a setback, according to the Company Town blog of the Los Angeles Times: The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo, starring Daniel Craig, ended up a money loser.

Here’s an excerpt:

Returns of $231 million in worldwide box office wasn’t enough to turn a profit on “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer disclosed in financial results released this week that it is booking what Co-Chief Executive Gary Barber called a “modest loss” on the film. On a conference call with shareholders, he said the independent studio, which covered 20% of the approximately $100-million production budget for the movie co-financed and distributed by Sony Pictures, needed “Dragon Tattoo” to collect about 10% more revenue in order to break even.

You can read the entire story BY CLICKING HERE. According to the Los Angeles Times, MGM is in talks with Sony to reduce the budget for any future installments.

We reference this story for a couple of reasons: 1) MGM owns half of the James Bond franchise along with Eon Productions and “Dragon Tatoo” was one of its first big projects since exiting bankruptcy; 2) Daniel Craig, the current cinema 007, was the movie’s star. When MGM was coping with its financial ills, there was speculation whether Craig would cease playing 007 while starring in “Dragon Tatoo” sequels. Whether any such sequels materialize remains to be seen.

MGM and Sony, meanwhile, are co-financing Skyfall, the 23rd James Bond film and the two have committed to collaborate on Bond 24. MGM, as part of its bankruptcy plan, said it wants to get Bond films back on an every-other-year schedule, with Bond 24 coming out in 2014. That, too, remains to be seen.

UPDATE: The Los Angeles Times, in a SEPARATE STORY says MGM has regained control of the United Artists brand from Tom Cruise. UA, when it was actually a studio and not just a label, released the first dozen 007 films produced by Eon Productions. UA got absorbed by MGM after Transamerica Corp. dumped it. The UA name was last on a Bond film with 1997’s Tomorrow Never Dies.

5 Responses

  1. … and there would be a third reason I’d think this story relevant. It gives indication of the star value of current James Bond actor Daniel Craig.

    No doubt someone will step in to take a look at how “blockbuster” Bonds compared to other efforts, paralleling this. How was Sean Connery banking outside of his 1960s James Bond stints? When Roger Moore was breaking records for the 007 franchise in “The Spy Who Loved Me,” what was his parallel (viz Mr Craig) in the mid- to late 1970s?

    Notwithstanding, I think it *does* suggest a lot about what Daniel Craig actually brings to Skyfall. Maybe the producers even know that, as they inexplicably downplay the importance of the man in the title role here, in favor of focus on Judi Dench and at least one of the cars he’ll drive.

    How ironic: That gadgets may be what saves this Bond, coming full circle from one of the recurrent concerns of Mr Craig’s predecessors in the role – that they didn’t want to be upstaged or overshadowed by ’em.

  2. An R-rated, disturbing adult thriller, not directed at the adolescent audience, coming shortly on the heels of a Swedish film adaptation that was quite popular in North America. Plus a source trilogy of books whose height of popularity is past. It’s not really a suprise that “Dragon Tattoo” didn’t make megabucks.

  3. You know, this is one instance of an American remake that I found to be an improvement on the original version. Both movies were far better than the source material, which, despite mega-bestseller status, should have been heavily edited.

    In any event, I bet it still made money for the studio. Accounting practice in Hollywood have always been questionable, at best. I am not sure one can read anything into this matter regarding Craig’s future as Bond. However, given the fact that he now looks older than I do (and I am 52), I cannot imagine him doing another Bond after Skyfall.

  4. […] if any, may have been relatively small for Sony and MGM. Last month, MGM disclosed it lost money on The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo, also starring Craig, which had a $100 million production budget (and presumably similar sized […]

  5. […] Dragon Tattoo ($232 million global box office), and a film where Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer said resulted in a loss; Cowboys & Aliens ($174.8 million global box office); Lucky Logan ($47.6 million global box […]

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