This section needs to be updated. (August 2014)
MGM was the last studio to convert to sound pictures, but in spite of this fact, from the end of the silent film era through the late 1950s, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was the dominant motion picture studio in Hollywood. Always slow to respond to the changing legal, economic, and demographic nature of the motion picture industry during the 1950s and 1960s, and although at times its films did well at the box office, the studio lost significant amounts of money throughout the 1960s. In 1966, MGM was sold to Canadian investor Edgar Bronfman Sr., whose son Edgar Jr. would later buy Universal Studios. Three years later, an increasingly unprofitable MGM was bought by Kirk Kerkorian, who slashed staff and production costs, forced the studio to produce low-budget fare, and then shut down theatrical distribution in 1973. The studio continued to produce five to six films a year that were released through other studios, mostly United Artists. Kerkorian did, however, commit to increased production and an expanded film library when he bought United Artists in 1981.
MGM ramped up internal production, as well as keeping production going at UA, which included the lucrative James Bond film franchise. It also incurred significant amounts of debt to increase production. The studio took on additional debt as a series of owners took charge in the 1980s and early 1990s. In 1986, Ted Turner bought MGM, but a few months later, sold the company back to Kerkorian to recoup massive debt, while keeping the library assets for himself. The series of deals left MGM even more heavily in debt. MGM was bought by Pathé Communications (led by Italian publishing magnate Giancarlo Parretti) in 1990, but Parretti lost control of Pathé and defaulted on the loans used to purchase the studio. The French banking conglomerate Crédit Lyonnais, the studio's major creditor, then took control of MGM. Even more deeply in debt, MGM was purchased by a joint venture between Kerkorian, producer Frank Mancuso, and Australia's Seven Network in 1996.
The debt load from these and subsequent business deals negatively affected MGM's ability to survive as an independent motion picture studio. After a bidding war which included Time Warner (the current parent of Turner Broadcasting) and General Electric, MGM was acquired on September 23, 2004, by a partnership consisting of Sony Corporation of America, Comcast, Texas Pacific Group (now TPG Capital, L.P.), Providence Equity Partners, and other investors.