MGM Realigns Home Video Division with Fox; Sony to Continue to Release Studio's Blu-Ray Product

Posted Wed May 31, 2006 at 12:35 PM PDT by
Sony Lion Eats Man In a surprise move, MGM today announced that it is shifting its domestic home entertainment distribution business from Sony to Fox, though Sony will continue to service the studio's upcoming Blu-ray disc releases.

Only the latest left turn in MGM's increasingly convoluted backstory, the studio's announcement comes only months after Sony purchased a 20 percent stake in MGM, which included a distribution pact for its 4,000-strong title library.

That deal was widely seen in the industry as a boost for the Sony-backed Blu-ray format; the studio had announced plans to release nearly half a dozen MGM catalog favorites as part of its initial two waves of Blu-ray disc titles beginning June 20, including such his as 'The Terminator,' 'Species' and 'RoboCop.'

Although Fox is also a Blu-ray supporter, MGM's move away from Sony has left industry to speculate that the shift may cost Sony control over the timing and pricing of MGM catalog releases.

However, Sony Home Entertainment president of publicity Fritz Friedman today told High Def Digest that, "We [Sony] are going to be distributing the MGM Blu-ray titles as per usual." All of Sony's June and July Blu-ray disc releases, including MGM titles, remainscheduled for release as originally announced, Friedman confirmed.

MGM has also told Video Business that the company's move to Fox for its home video distribution will not affect the latest movies in both of its popular James Bond and Rocky franchises, which are co-productions betwen Sony and MGM; the latest installments of both series are due to hit theaters this fall.

Sony will continue to distribute titles for both franchises on home video for MGM, the studio said.

For a complete listing of upcoming Sony and MGM Blu-ray title releases, visit our complete Blu-ray Release Schedule.
Tags: Sony, MGM (all tags)