The guys who produced Terminator: Salvation, a worldwide hit, have filed for bankruptcy:
Even though the movie has sold a healthy $370 million worth of tickets around the world and has yet to be released on DVD and in other post-theatrical markets, Anderson and Kubicek apparently couldn’t stay afloat. As detailed in yesterday’s lawsuits, they don’t have the assets to pay back one of several loans made by Santa Barbara hedge fund Pacificor, which financed their $30-million purchase of the “Terminator” rights and loaned $9 million for other operating expenses… The list of creditors for Anderson and Kubicek’s three companies — T Asset Acquisition Company, Dominion Group and Halcyon Holding Group — includes four major studios and several big names involved in “Salvation,” including star Christian Bale and director McG. Even California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose face is briefly seen near the end of the movie, is on the list.
Even with the caveat that film grosses do not equal what the producers net from the film (by a long shot), it nevertheless does take a special amount of doing to make that much money and yet not have enough money. One wrinkle is that the producers do appear to be quite litigious (their largest creditors are law firms); the other wrinkle is that the Terminator property in itself was mightily expensive for the producers to purchase.
The lesson here might be that it’s time to develop new properties and franchises, said the science fiction writer who just happens to have several that would make excellent, excellent films. The other lesson: The film industry, it’s just plain wacky.