The Hollywood Reporter said while the studio has released a few films this summer to test its new model, this Friday's debut of "Flyboys" will be the first true test of MGM's new business concept.
"This is a big moment in the history of MGM," said the action film's producer, Dean Devlin. "It's a brand-new business model and an important time to prove that the business model will work. We're part of the beta test, so we're betting it does."
An $80 million production, "Flyboys" follows the dangerous exploits of the first U.S. aviators who joined the French Lafayette Escadrille, a French Air Service squadron, prior to America's involvement in World War I.
The new film follows MGM's new plan of distributing films produced outside of the studio's purview and represents the first offering of an ambitious fall slate from the Hollywood company, the paper said.