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'Terminator' talks no longer exclusive to Sony and Lions Gate

February 17, 2010 | 11:31 am

Term3Pair Sony Pictures and Lions Gate are no longer in the lead position to bring the Terminator back to the big screen.

An exclusive window granted by hedge fund Pacificor for the two studios to jointly negotiate to make the next "Terminator" film have expired, said two people familiar with the matter. The studios have made their offer, but are no longer in active talks, one of the people added.

Pacificor won the right to make future "Terminator" films at a controversial auction last week held by the former rights owner, bankrupt production shingle Halcyon Company. The hedge fund paid $29.5 million in exchange for forgiving debt that Halcyon owed it and also agreed to pay $5 million for each sequel produced.

In order to now make money off the rights, Santa Barbara-based Pacificor, which has no experience in the movie business, must enlist a studio or producers to develop, make and distribute a fifth "Terminator" picture.

Sony and Lions Gate jointly bid for the rights against Pacificor at last Monday's auction. After the hedge fund was declared winner, the two studios objected to the bidding procedures at a bankruptcy court hearing. However, Judge Ernest Robles rejected their claim and awarded the rights to Pacificor. The hedge fund then granted Sony and Lions Gate an exclusive -- and apparently pretty short -- window to negotiate a deal to produce and distribute a fifth "Terminator" movie.

In a press release issued today, Pacificor invited parties interested in making future "Terminator" films to reach out its attorneys at Latham & Watkins and said it has already been contacted by "numerous studios, producers, financiers and agents."

--Ben Fritz

Photo: Kristanna Loken and Arnold Schwarzenegger in "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines." Credit: Robert Zuckerman / Warner Bros.

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