BREAKING NEWS! EXCLUSIVE: I’ve learned that the auction for the Terminator movie, TV program, and other spin-off rights just ended after a marathon bidding session today that stretched from 3 PM this afternoon until 8 PM tonight. Both Sony Pictures and Lionsgate separately were bidding for the franchise, and then joined up after the first round was completed. “We’re going to fight one hell of a fight,” a Lionsgate insider told me in advance. Its plans were for “a complete re-boot, back to basics, with real emotional stories, and effects that will be secondary.
Alas, the studios didn’t come away the winners — which, I’m told, prompted a furious Sony Pictures Entertainment’s president of worldwide affairs Peter Schlessel to “storm out” of the Downtown LA offices of FTI Capital Advisors holding the auction. (Sony had distributed Terminator 4: Salvation internationally.) Instead, Halcyon Holding Corp accepted the $29.5 million bid from, of all parties, the debtholder which pushed it into bankruptcy, Santa Barbara-based hedge fund Pacificor. (This is the same Pacificor whom Halcyon accused in a lawsuit of extortion, bribery, and fraud and demanded $30M in damages.)
Tonight, Sony and Lionsgate dropped out at just under $29.5 million when it became clear that Pacificor “was willing to pay almost any amount of money for Terminator,” an insider tells me. Halcyon will receive $5 million for every Terminator movie made from now on, as well as retains the rich revenue streams from the movies Terminator 3 and 4. Sources behind Halcyon claim to me that the arrangement made now wipes out the debt Halcyon owed to Pacificor and all the other creditors. Of course, the deal is subject to approval by the bankruptcy court. It will be presented to the judge at a hearing on Thursday.
Back on May 9, 2007, rights to the Terminator series passed from producers Andy Vajna and Mario Kassar to the privately funded Halcyon Co (formed by entrepreneurs Victor Kubicek and Derek Anderson) for a reported $30 million. It was Pacificor that lent Halcyon the money to conclude the deal. Once Pacificor pushed Halcyon into Chapter 11, the Terminator franchise went up for sale. Lionsgate was selected as the stalking horse bidder with a ground floor offer of $15 million. Obviously the Hollywood entities kicking the tires on this rights offer, including Summit Entertainment and Media Rights Capital, didn’t think this character/concept was played out. After all, Terminator 4: Salvation made $380M worldwide. But who knows what Pacificor will plan for the project now…
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- Joss Whedon Makes Bid For ‘Terminator’
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- ‘Terminator’ Producers Accuse Hedge Fund Of Extortion, Bribery, Fraud; Lawsuit Seeks $30M In Damages
- MGM Accused Of Threats To ‘Terminator 4’