Lions Gate Entertainment executives have still not revealed how much they're willing to spend to acquire MGM or Miramax, but Carl Icahn on Wednesday made it clear that he thinks whatever it is, it's too much. With published reports suggesting that the so-called mini-major has offered $1.2 billion in the first round of bidding, Icahn said in an interview on CNBC, "To spend $1 billion on MGM is absurd, it's absurd for this company. ... If you're Warren Buffett you can spend it, but these guys can't go spend $1 billion." In fact, Icahn suggested, the company ought to get out of the movie business altogether and stick with television. Referring to some recent Lionsgate productions that bombed at the box office, Icahn complained that he had not been "kept in the loop on these money-losing movies they went and wanted to produce, not that I'm a micromanager." But making movies, he indicated, was too risky a proposition. "This company should not be producing movies," he said, adding that top producers he has known over the years have advised him to stay out of the film business. "One of the things they all told me, 'Carl, don't produce movies.' This is what these guys are doing, because, you know, hey, it's fun, you get it into your blood, and this is why a lot rich kids love to buy movie companies. They like to go to the Oscars. They stand up there shaking hands with the actors."

25/03/2010