Lion set to stand walkout, sez chairman

NEW YORK — MGM chairman and CEO Alex Yemenidjian predicted Tuesday that if SAG and WGA strikes are actually launched, then MGM will be the studio best able to withstand them.

“I really can’t think of another studio that is better equipped to stand a strike than MGM,” Yemenidjian told a group of investors at the Credit Suisse/First Boston media conference.

Yemenidjian pointed to the revenue generated by MGM’s 4,106-title library as well as a positive cash flow that would keep MGM in the black given a potential strike.

“We could actually go into profit without producing a picture,” he said.

Making the presentation with his chief financial officer Daniel Taylor, Yemenidjian outlined the growth potential for MGM in the coming years.

Upcoming pics

The MGM duo screened trailers for upcoming pics “Antitrust,” starring Tim Robbins and Ryan Phillippe; “Hannibal,” with Anthony Hopkins and Julianne Moore; “Original Sin,” starring Antonio Banderas and Angelina Jolie; “The Breakers,” with Gene Hackman, Sigourney Weaver and Jennifer Love Hewitt; and “Rollerball” for summer 2001.

Describing MGM’s profit potential, Yemenidjian maintained that MGM always analyzed its position from a bottom line perspective, rather than a market share view.

He said the market share designation is deceptive because often companies that win in market share actually end up losing money on their pictures.

“It’s absolutely criminal to judge your performance on anything other than bottom line performance,” he said.

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