UPDATES ‘TERMINATOR’ RIGHTS SELL FOR $29.5 MIL

A bankruptcy judge in U.S. District Court this morning approved the deal that gives the rights to the Terminator franchise to Santa Barbara-based hedge fund Pacificor for $29.5 million. Also OKed was a provision to pay another $5 million for each produced picture (up to 3) to the unsecured creditors, including holding company Halcyon which had to sell the rights when Pacificor pushed it into bankruptcy.

Now the focus is on who’ll actually get to make the Terminator features. We’ve learned that Pacificor has granted underbidders Sony and Lionsgate (who’ll remain partners in any transaction) an exclusive window to negotiate that. But our sources say no talks have begun as yet. It remains to be seen whether another studio will materialize to brgain, but none besides Sony and Lionsgate posted the $16 million minimum bid to get into the lightning round.

Today’s courtroom was filled with lawyers, including those from Sony Pictures and Lionsgate, which made the runner-up bid of $28.5 million. Also there were lawyers for anybody who had a piece of the franchise, including MGM, which sold off its contractual right of first negotiation to the bankruptcy court for just $150,000.