MGM Courts Pixar

MGM vice chairman/coo Chris McGurk admitted on Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2004 that he has discussed a distribution partnership with Pixar Animation Studios during a conference call with financial reporters to discuss MGM's record net income of $60.3 million for the fourth quarter- spurred by DVD and video sales of LEGALLY BLONDE 2 and JEEPERS CREEPERS II.

McGurk, added: "Our film, television, MGM Networks and home entertainment operations all had a very strong year. Our goal in 2004 is to further accelerate our growth. We are off to an excellent start with our first feature film release in 2004, 'Barbershop 2: Back in Business,' which will be extremely profitable. We look forward to the rest of the year with great confidence."

McGurk added that MGM would be "the best fit" for Pixar because of its worldwide distribution apparatus and because MGM doesn't possess any competitive animated films or family franchises. McGurk said MGM intends "to speak with them again very soon."

McGurk would not comment, however, on whether MGM is looking for more than a distribution deal with Pixar. "They are an extremely attractive company with a tremendous track record that's obviously complementary to us."

Meanwhile, MGM chairman/ceo Alex Yemenidjian said they will continue pursuing potential cash acquisitions to broaden their core business or diversify their source of revenue with vertical integration Interestingly, Warner Bros. recently considered purchasing MGM.

BOND 21, starring Pierce Brosnan in his fifth and final outing as 007, begins filming January 2005 for release during the same holiday season.