MGM pacts for three features from Baldwins

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MGM said Tuesday that it has signed a three-year multipicture distribution pact with producers Howard Baldwin and Karen Elise Baldwin and their Baldwin Entertainment Group.

The Baldwins, who produced the best picture Oscar nominee "Ray," plan to feed MGM's distribution pipeline with two to three films per year.

"I believe in Harry Sloan and Rick Sands and their team over there," Howard Baldwin said. "They are good friends, and I think they will bring the studio back to its glory days."

MGM is filling a void left when Bauer Martinez, one of the distributor's original content providers, scaled back its slate following layoffs late last year.

Under the Baldwin pact, MGM will have the first look at BEG's finished and produced films for distribution in all media throughout North America. The studio expects to release such upcoming Baldwin titles as the drama "1:30 Train," the comedy "Indiscretion" and the action-adventure "Mandrake," a modern take on the classic Hearst comic.

MGM COO Sands praised the producing team for the "great pedigree surrounding their work."

"We are looking forward to putting Baldwin-produced films through MGM's North American distribution infrastructure with the goal of having their movies seen by as large an audience as possible," he said.

The Baldwins -- whose upcoming credits include "Atlas Shrugged" at Lionsgate, an untitled Jackie Robinson biopic, Frank McCourt's memoir "Teacher Man" and James Wan's "Death Sentence" -- also produced "Sahara," "Swimming Upstream" and "Mystery, Alaska."

MGM executive vp Jonathan Bader negotiated the deal on behalf of the studio, while Eric Mitchell repped BEG.
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