Bauer layoffs shrink biz

New cuts bring L.A. staff down to 12

Bauer Martinez Entertainment is losing steam fast.

Company has just issued a second round of layoffs and is moving out of its office space in the MGM tower in Century City.

Included in the exits is Martin Barab, prexy of Lucky 50 Prods., the feature film production arm of Bauer Martinez Studios.

Barab was previously the company’s general counsel and prior to that prexy of Bauer Martinez Distribution, before the company was renamed Bauer Martinez Entertainment.

Bauer Martinez’s three-picture distribution deal with MGM also is kaput. MGM is no longer releasing the third and final film in the deal, “I Could Never Be Your Woman” starring Michelle Pfeiffer. Pic was slated for a March 2 domestic release.

There was also a round of layoffs at the company in early December.

The recent cuts bring Bauer Martinez’s Los Angeles-based staff down to a dozen from 35 a little over a year ago, when chairman-CEO Philippe Martinez launched Bauer Martinez. The company, which Martinez said would be the biggest indie studio in Hollywood, was Martinez’s comeback foray after serving jail time for fraud in France.

The downsizing comes on the heels of disappointing box office results for BME pics “National Lampoon’s Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj” and “Harsh Times,” which were released last year via MGM. Company also faced a public dust-up with MGM over the marketing for “Harsh Times.” (MGM had originally expected Bauer to pay for the film’s marketing, but ultimately MGM paid. That misunderstanding, as well as issues related to Bauer clearing the rights to the film, caused a delay in publicity.)

A Bauer Martinez spokesman would not comment on the layoffs, but saidthe company plans to proceed with distribution and marketing of its upcoming films “The Flock,” starring Richard Gere; “The Amateurs,” starring Jeff Bridges; and “Fragile,” a thriller with Calista Flockhart.