WEDNESDAY PM UPDATE: I hear Lionsgate’s bid was $15 million, plus a gross corridor.
WEDNESDAY AM: So what’s a stalking horse bid? An initial bid on a bankrupt company’s assets from an interested buyer chosen by the bankrupt company. This allows the distressed firm to avoid receiving lowball bids on its assets. That said, I hear Lionsgate will be named the stalking horse bidder in the bankruptcy sale of the Terminator franchise. Sources tell me it wasn’t a competitive auction. (Sorry, Joss Whedon, your $10,000 offer for the rights didn’t cut it.)
When last we left the tug of war over the future of The Terminator franchise, Halcyon Holding Group announced it was contemplating a sale of the rights after filing for Chapter 11 protection last August as a result of a dispute with Pacificor, a Santa Barbara-based hedge fund that lent Halcyon the sum to buy the Terminator rights in the first place. All the big studios, with Sony leading the way as well as Summit Entertainment and Media Rights Capital, were interested in bidding at a franchise auction for new Terminator films, TV program and other spin-offs. (Because we all know The Sarah Connor Chronicles on Fox did so well, right?)
The sale was being conducted by FTI Capital Advisors for Halcyon which bought the Terminator rights 2 years ago for $25M from Mario Kassar. I think this character/concept is played out. But given the regularity with which Hollywood is now rebooting franchises (Spider-Man is the latest), it pays to remember that even the fanboy dud Terminator 4: Salvation still made $380M worldwide.