With a fifth “Terminator” film taking shape, the complicated Halcyon Holding Group bankruptcy case has quietly been resolved, with creditors due to receive $14 million in expected distributions.
Prospects for another “Terminator” now rest with Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Films, which closed a deal a month ago during the Cannes Film Festival for rights to make two “Terminator” films. CAA had been shopping a package to studios with former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger attached — before news of his out-of-wedlock son broke — with Robert Cort producing and Justin Lin (“Fast Five”) as director.
Cort and Lin came aboard last year after Pacificor, a Santa Barbara-based investment fund with no feature film experience, won an auction for Halcyon’s “Terminator” rights over objections from Sony and Lionsgate. Pacificor agreed to pay $29.5 million, along with a provision for payment to Halcyon of $5 million per film for any sequel.
“Megan Ellison is a smart and talented filmmaker, and we wish her all the best as she takes over the ‘Terminator’ series,” said Derek Anderson and Victor Kubicek, co-CEOs of the Halcyon Co. “We hope she is able to get sequels made and continue the tradition of this great global science-fiction franchise.”
The consensual plan was signed by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Ernest Robles in the Los Angeles Division on June 6, 21 months after Halcyon filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a dispute with Pacificor.
Scott Gautier of Halcyon’s legal team at Peitzman, Weg & Kempinsky told Variety that the final plan covers seven different classes of creditors.
“By the time a major motion picture has been fully produced and released, there’s a carefully crafted and fragile web of contracts and agreements, both domestic and international, that determines interests in the future income streams from the movie and merchandising,” Gautier said. “A Chapter 11 bankruptcy case can be the catalyst for an explosion that rips apart that web and leaves nothing in its wake but battles between creditors. We were determined to preserve as much value for creditors and interest holders as possible and I believe PWK succeeded.”
Halcyon paid Mario Kassar $30 million for the “Terminator” rights in 2007. “Terminator Salvation,” the fourth film in the franchise, was produced by Halcyon toppers Kubicek and Anderson, with Warner Bros. handling domestic distribution and Sony taking international. It carried a production pricetag of about $200 million and took $371 million worldwide in 2009.
Gautier explained that the attorneys first negotiated the future rights to be sold to satisfy Pacificor’s $30 million claim against the estate, then negotiated with each of the creditor constituencies to allow future income streams to flow through to creditors without being drained in litigation. One creditor asserted her claims were worth more than $11 million but was offered was offered $250,000. She eventually agreed to the original figure when the judge indicated he would value her claim at $0.
As for Kubicek and Anderson, the duo remain in development on several projects but have yet to disclose specifics.