MGM Books 'Modest Loss' on 'Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'

Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer insists that grossing $231 million worldwide is not enough for the thriller to turn a profit, while hoping that '21 Jump Street' could bring a better benefit.
Hot on the heels of the news that Walt Disney Pictures has booked a loss on "John Carter", another studio has confirmed to suffering a "modest loss" on its major film. On Thursday, March 22, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer announced that it expects to lose money on David Fincher's "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011)".

The studio claimed that grossing $231 million worldwide was not enough to turn a profit on the movie adaptation of Stieg Larson's acclaimed novel. The thriller film itself was made on a budget of $100 million. The movie starring Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig needs to collect about 10% more revenue in order to break even.

"While this is a solid result, it is below our expectations and we booked a modest loss," MGM CEO Gary Barber stated during a conference call with investors. Barber added that MGM would only join force with Sony Pictures to co-finance the sequels if the studio "can achieve better economics."

"Dragon Tattoo" was the first feature film that MGM invested to after it was revived from bankruptcy in late 2010. The studio is now hoping for a better result from "21 Jump Street", which opened to a solid $36 million domestically. MGM believed that the Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill-starring action comedy could be profitable as the studio plans to co-finance the sequel with Sony.

The financial loss news aside, MGM announced that it has revived its dormant United Artists banner and has generated net income of around $38 million on $699 million in revenue for 2011. On its 2011 financial results announcement, the studio claimed that it "may resume using the United Artists banner to develop and produce new films."

Created in 1919 by Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, D.W. Griffith and Mary Pickford, UA became a part of MGM in 1981. In 2006, the banner was revived in a joint venture agreement between MGM and Cruise-Wagner, a production house of Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner. Together, they produced "Lions for Lambs" and "Valkyrie" before Cruise-Wagner left in 2008.

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