Orion Pictures is alive again. The mini-major studio and distributor behind The Terminator, RoboCop and Best Picture Oscar winners Amadeus, Platoon, Dances With Wolves and The Silence Of The Lambs was acquired by MGM in 1997 after flailing financially through most of the 1980s and ’90s, but it fell off the map within a few short years. Now MGM quietly is positioning Orion Pictures as a specialty multiplatform distribution arm, starting with the October release of horror sequel The Town That Dreaded Sundown.
Deadline revealed this week that Orion will release the Jason Blum- and Ryan Murphy-produced low-budget slasher, which MGM is framing as the first new title from the revived brand. The familiar Orion constellation logo even caught some viewers’ eyes when it appeared in the film’s trailer yesterday. MGM is taking small steps; it won’t be launching the new Orion as a stand-alone initiative and hasn’t officially announced its long-range plans for the label. A source tells me MGM will handle Orion business internally utilizing existing infrasturture, which will run specialty theatrical/multiplatform campaigns.
It’s not the first move MGM has made to resuscitate the Orion brand in recent years. Orion’s TV production operation relaunched last year with MGM TV’s syndicated show Paternity Court, and MGM has used the label for a handful of acquisitions titles. Here’s that jolt of nostalgia again, six seconds into the Town That Dreaded Sundown trailer: