Sony Pictures Entertainment will remain in the James Bond business after reaching an agreement with MGM to co-finance and theatrically market and distribute the long-awaited Bond 23 worldwide, the company announced in a news release.
Sony will release the next film in this iconic franchise on Nov. 9, 2012, throughout the world except for select International territories, where MGM will directly oversee distribution. The new release also reveals that Daniel Craig is still attached to the storied franchise, which joins “The Hobbit” among high-profile projects delayed by financial troubles at MGM.
Sony Pictures and MGM look forward to Sony Pictures co-financing and distributing Bond 24 on a similar basis, according to the releae. Additionally, MGM and Sony Pictures have agreed to explore co-financing opportunities on future motion pictures produced by each of the respective studios for the next five years.
The two studios have collaborated directly and indirectly in recent years on numerous films, including the most recent Bond films, “Casino Royale” and “Quantum of Solace,” “21,” “Yours, Mine and Ours,” “The Pink Panther” and the forthcoming Kevin James comedy “Zookeeper.”
Sony is touting the announcement of the agreement to distribute Bond 23 as another high-profile title on its 2012 slate, which also includes “Men in Black 3″ and “The Amazing Spider-Man,” as well as “I Hate You, Dad,” starring Adam Sandler,” Here Comes the Boom,” starring Kevin James, “21 Jump Street,” “Resident Evil 5″ and “Total Recall.”
“Sony Pictures is the ideal studio partner for us as MGM re-enters the filmmaking business. We have longstanding relationships with Michael and Amy and look forward to what promises to be a prosperous future together,” said MGM Co-Chairmen and Chief Executive Officers Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum in the release.
“In addition to working together on Bond, this deal expands our relationship with MGM as we explore co-financing opportunities on other high-profile projects,” Sony Pictures Chairman and CEO Michael Lynton said in the release. “Gary and Roger are incredibly thoughtful and experienced leaders who are outstanding creative executives and respected moviemakers. While we are excited to be back in the Bond business, we also look forward to future collaborations and I am confident that this agreement will be long-term, lucrative, and beneficial to both studios.”
“After successfully working on the re-launch of the James Bond franchise with Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, we could not be more proud or privileged to continue our association with Barbara Broccoli, Michael G. Wilson, Daniel Craig, and the talented teams at EON and MGM,” said Sony Pictures Co-Chairman Amy Pascal.
When Sony released “Casino Royale” and “Quantum of Solace,” the films had record-high grosses for the Bond franchise, the news release touts, with “Casino Royale” taking in $599 million in worldwide ticket sales and “Quantum of Solace” generating $577 million.