×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

New Epic librarian

Polygram plunks down $225 mil for catalog

Polygram Filmed Entertainment has won the bidding war for the 1,045-title Epic film library owned by French government agency CDR, beating out contenders with a $225 million offer, other bidders said late Tuesday.

The move achieves Polygram’s long-sought goal of bulking up its film catalog after unsuccessful attempts in recent years to buy the Samuel Goldwyn library, as well as MGM.

The sale of the collection of film titles from defunct film companies that ran into trouble with loans from France’s Credit Lyonnais marks an end to the Gallic bank’s disastrous adventure in Hollywood during the 1980s. The Consortium des realisations was set up to help dispose of the French bank’s massive portfolio of troubled assets.

Among the dozen or so bidders for the Epic collection were MGM, Disney and Live Entertainment.

The Epic library includes worldwide video rights to Castle Rock films such as “When Harry Met Sally …,” “City Slickers” and “Misery.” Other titles include “Mr. Mom,” “The Graduate,” “Hoosiers” and “Blue Velvet.” In many cases TV rights in a patchwork of territories also are available.

Popular on Variety

MGM has a short-term video licensing agreement for 100 titles in the Epic collection. The rest are B pictures such as “Robot Jox” and “Troll II.”

The library sale follows more than four years of work by attorneys at Loeb & Loeb who painstakingly sorted through the detritus of bankrupt companies such as Hemdale and Nelson Entertainment to clarify licensing agreements and copyright ownership.

Neither Polygram nor Furman Selz, the investment bank acting as CDR’s advisers, could be reached for comment.

It remains to be seen whether a claim by Warner Bros. to distribution rights on the entire Epic film library will be an issue for Polygram (Daily Variety, Nov. 14).

More Film

  • My Zoe

    'My Zoe': Film Review

    There are two films in Julie Delpy’s ambitious, sharply-made but unbalanced “My Zoe.” There’s the scabrous relationship melodrama, about bitter exes sharing custody of a beloved child, which contains the story’s most potent emotions. And there’s the sci-fi-inflected ethical-dilemma grief movie, which houses its most provocative ideas. Both have much to recommend them, not least [...]

  • Richard Jewell

    The Big Lie of 'Richard Jewell' (Column)

    For a man who was so enraged at the administration of Barack Obama that he spent his 2012 Republican Convention speech lecturing an empty chair, Clint Eastwood has made a number of conventional, level-headed — one might even say liberal — political dramas. Films like “Invictus” and “J. Edgar” and “Midnight in the Garden of [...]

  • Oscar Isaac Star Wars The Rise

    Oscar Isaac Has Never Felt Like a 'Star Wars' Insider

    Unlike his “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” co-stars Daisy Ridley and John Boyega, Oscar Isaac had already established a long and acclaimed acting career before J.J. Abrams cast him as ace X-wing pilot Poe Dameron in 2015’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” including standout roles in 2006’s “The Nativity Story” and 2011’s “Drive,” and [...]

  • Les Arcs to Showcase New Projects

    Les Arcs to Showcase New Projects by Jonas Alexander Arnby, Agnieszka Smoczyńska

    Denmark’s Jonas Alexander Arnby, France’s Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli, and Poland’s Agnieszka Smoczyńska are among up-and-coming directors from across Europe whose latest projects will be presented at the 11th Coproduction Village of Les Arcs Film Festival. This edition of Les Arcs Coproduction Village will showcase a total of 22 European projects spanning 19 countries. [...]

  • Chez Jolie Coiffure

    'Chez Jolie Coiffure': Film Review

    Shortly before the credits roll on “Chez Jolie Coiffure,” a customer in the eponymous hair salon asks her stylist, Sabine, if she has any plans to go home this year. Out of context, this sounds like the kind of standard, empty small talk one often makes while having one’s hair cut: what good movies you’ve [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content