Lions Gate Entertainment has taken a lead in the bidding for "Terminator," but competition for rights to the26-year-old science fiction franchise is likely to heat up in the next month.
In a federal Bankruptcy Court filing Wednesday, Halcyon Group, the independent production company owned by Derek Anderson and Victor Kubicek, asked a judge to approve naming Lions Gate as "stalking horse" bidder for the "Terminator" rights. The two producers put the film rights up for sale in September to raise cash as they work their way out of Chapter 11 reorganization.
The designation of stalking horse means that any competing offer must be higher than Lions Gate's bid to be considered.
Lions Gate, the Santa Monica-based studio behind the Tyler Perry and "Saw" films, bid $15 million in cash plus 5% of future gross receipts in exchange for the rights to make "Terminator" sequels and spin-offs. Halcyon would retain all revenue generated by the fourth picture in the series, "Terminator Salvation," which sold $372 million in tickets worldwide after its June 2009 release and came out on DVD last month.
Sony Pictures, which distributed "Salvation" overseas; Warner Bros., which distributed the movie domestically; Summit Entertainment, the independent studio behind the "Twilight" movies; and film financing and production company Legendary Pictures are all considering making bids, according to people close to the companies.