When the consortium bought MGM from Kirk Kerkorian five years ago for major bucks, they argued the Lion was worth every penny due to its enviable library. Never mind that MGM’s previous owners had mined it over and over again on DVD. Harry Sloan, ousted this week, maintained the library qualified MGM as a major studio in Variety coverage. Never mind that the studio hadn’t released much for years. Several years later, that hasn’t changed, although Mary Parent, one of the troika that will run the studio now that Sloan’s been forced to the sidelines, has been doing her darnedest to get a slate into motion. “I believe we’re going to get through this,” she told the LAT.
The same day, Sony finally lowered the price of the PlayStation 3 console in hopes of goosing sales of that platform and maybe even Blu-ray discs. From the beginning, Sony and other Blu-ray backers have talked up the console as a game changer for home entertainment, and some in the media credulously passed along that projection. You know what? Hasn’t happened. Just as PlayStation 2 didn’t really boost DVD sales, PlayStation 3 hasn’t really goosed Blu-ray sales. Hope springs eternal, however. “Many in Hollywood have been eagerly awaiting a PS3 price cut in hopes it would boost sales of high definition Blu-ray discs at a time when the overall DVD market is contracting,” the LAT reported in a story that adjoined the MGM reorg jump in the print version. A Sony exec suggested that the price cut would be enough to entice recession battered consumers off the fence.
I wouldn’t count on it boosting Blu-ray sales. Consumers have found a better way to vote with their pocketbooks in this recession — $1 DVD rentals at Redbox kiosks. Hard to argue with that consumer logic.
As for MGM? Per LAT’s Claudia Eller, most industry watchers don’t expect it to last much longer as an independent studio.