Sunday, November 1, 2009

Terminator franchise to be auctioned off

The rights to the Terminator film franchise will be auctioned this month in a deal that will test Hollywood intellectual property valuations at a time when film industry profits are under pressure from falling DVD sales.

The sale, which comes weeks after the rights to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were sold for $60m – and is likely to exceed that – has sparked considerable interest because Terminator is a rare example of a blockbuster film franchise not controlled by a big studio.

The interest in the future rights of Terminator underscores the value of IP during a tough time for Hollywood. That value has held up, with Walt Disney recently agreeing a hefty premium in its $4bn deal to buy Marvel Entertainment.

Several financial buyers have expressed interest in Terminator, including Platinum Equity, the Beverly Hills firm that owns Delphi, the auto parts maker. Platinum could not be reached for comment.

All the big film studios have also registered interest in the rights, with Sony Pictures a leading contender, according to a person familiar with the situation. Sony declined to comment.

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