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Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Miramax Films Sign Multi-Picture Deal.


July 6, 1999

--Co-production venture joins Miramax creative resources with vast MGM

film library titles--

-- Cold Mountain and Harvey are initial titles in new venture--

In a co-production agreement reached today that links one of the world's most powerful brands with one of the entertainment industry's most successful creative forces, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. (NYSE:MGM) and Miramax Films will jointly produce up to eight films, combining MGM's vast film library for content with Miramax's unique production and marketing expertise.

As jointly announced today by MGM's Alex Yemenidjian and Chris McGurk, and Miramax's Harvey and Bob Weinstein, the agreement calls for up to two to three films per year under fully shared production and marketing funding, with complete sharing of all worldwide theatrical and all ancillary market revenues. Initial titles to be produced under the agreement include MGM's Cold Mountain, based on the best-selling novel, and the remake of the endearing comedy classic Harvey.

"We could not be more excited to launch our new film co-production initiatives with a partner of the caliber of Miramax," MGM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Alex Yemenidjian stated. "When we first discussed this with Harvey and Bob, we knew that they were the right partners for leveraging our content on the fast track -- smartly and aggressively."

Harvey Weinstein, Miramax Co-Chairman, said, "We approached Alex and Chris because the opportunity to mine MGM's great library with our development, production and marketing resources was impossible to resist. We enjoyed a great relationship with Chris at Disney and then at Universal, where he was instrumental in the co-production of Shakespeare in Love. Moreover, when we met Alex, we knew we were kindred spirits. We have already been working with MGM to identify a number of compelling projects from their library for development. This is a fabulous beginning."

Added MGM Vice Chairman Chris McGurk: "Having worked extensively with Harvey and Bob and the Miramax team over the years, I'm absolutely certain of the considerable talent they bring to this partnership. In essence, MGM gets the benefit of the creative and marketing leverage for which Miramax is renowned, while they benefit from the wealth of source material that MGM's vast collection of films represents."

"This deal is about access to unique content and combined resources generating quality product for wide audiences," added Miramax Co-Chairman Bob Weinstein. "It is an extraordinary and exciting opportunity for both companies."

Under terms of the agreement, MGM and Miramax will each distribute four films domestically and four films internationally. The companies are currently evaluating third party financing options to fund the production slate, which begins with Cold Mountain, to be written and directed by Anthony Minghella (whose credits include Miramax's The English Patient, winner of nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director) and one of the most sought-after properties following its long-running position on the New York Times bestseller list, and Harvey, the beloved classic that originally starred Jimmy Stewart in one of his most popular roles.

Founded twenty years ago, Miramax Films, has established itself as the world's leading independent film company by releasing some of the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful independent films including: Shakespeare in Love, Life Is Beautiful, Good Will Hunting, The English Patient, Il Postino, Pulp Fiction, Like Water for Chocolate, Cinema Paradiso and sex, lies and videotape. Over the past decade, Miramax has not only been the most awarded film company with 134 Academy Award nominations and 40 Academy Awards, but it has also enjoyed outstanding fiscal growth.

Dimension Films, Miramax's highly successful genre division founded six years ago, has released Scream and Scream 2, which have grossed more than $340 million worldwide, From Dusk Till Dawn, The Crow and Halloween:H20. Currently in production from Dimension are Texas Rangers, a western starring Dylan McDermott, James van der Beek, Leonor Varela, and Rachel Leigh Cook, and Reindeer Games, the John Frankenheimer-directed thriller starring Ben Affleck, Charlize Theron, and Gary Sinise.

Last year, Miramax launched Talk Media and a television division. Talk Media, in partnership with Hearst Magazines, will publish Talk magazine with editor Tina Brown and publisher Ron Galotti beginning in August 1999 with the September issue. Miramax Television already has two programs on the prime-time network schedule, Kevin Williamson's Wasteland and Kevin Smith's animated Clerks.

With over 5,000 titles, MGM's film library is the largest and most modern in the world, consisting of United Artists and current Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer theatrical releases, as well as titles from Orion, Goldwyn, and PolyGram libraries. It includes more post-1948 titles than all other film libraries combined, including the entire 20-film James Bond franchise, such offerings as Four Weddings and a Funeral and Fargo, and such classics as The Graduate and When Harry Met Sally. In addition to the movie titles, the MGM library has substantial inventory of TV product, including more than 8,000 hours of TV programming.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. (NYSE:MGM) is actively engaged in the worldwide production and distribution of entertainment product, including motion pictures, television programming, home video, interactive media, music, licensed merchandise, a library of more than 5,000 films, and a significant television library. The Company's operating units include MGM Pictures, United Artists Pictures, Orion Pictures, MGM Worldwide Television Group, MGM Distribution Co., MGM Home Entertainment and Consumer Products Group, MGM Music, and MGM Interactive, among others. For more information on MGM, visit MGM Online at

This news release contains forward-looking statements that are based upon the company's estimates and expectations concerning future events and are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those reflected in the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, among other things, future competitive and market conditions, whether the company's products achieve customer acceptance, future business decisions, and other factors, including those described in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, all of which are difficult or impossible to predict accurately and many of which are beyond the control of MGM.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 6, 1999
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