MGM has nearly a century of cinematic history and complements Amazon Studios, which primarily focuses on producing TV shows, the companies said. Amazon will help “preserve MGM’s legacy and film catalog” and provide customers with better access to these existing works, the companies said.
For Amazon, buying MGM – which has more than 4,000 movies and 17,000 TV shows in its catalog – is a way to supercharge its Prime Video service with a host of well-known entertainment properties. Additionally, Amazon plans to be able to mine Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer properties like Pink Panther, Rocky and, yes, the 007 franchises for the new originals.
“The real financial value of this agreement is the treasure of [intellectual property] in the full catalog that we plan to reinvent and develop with the talented MGM team, ”said Mike Hopkins, senior vice president of Prime Video and Amazon Studios, announcing the deal. “It’s very exciting and offers a lot of high quality storytelling opportunities.”
Hopkins noted that MGM productions have collectively won over 180 Oscars and 100 Emmys.
The MGM deal is Amazon’s second-largest acquisition, behind its $ 13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods in 2017. Amazon did not say when it plans to close the MGM acquisition, which is being submitted. regulatory approvals and other routine closing conditions.
Kevin Ulrich, the president of MGM who had worked with Hopkins to clarify the details of the deal, said in a statement: “I am very proud that the Lion of MGM, who has long referred to the golden age of ‘Hollywood continues its rich history, and the idea born of the creation of United Artists lives on as the founders originally intended, driven by talent and vision. The opportunity to align MGM’s rich history with Amazon is an inspiring combination. “
Among the movie titles that Hopkins cited when announcing the deal with MGM were “12 Angry Men,” “Basic Instinct,” “Creed” and “Rocky,” “Legally Blonde,” “Moonstruck,” “Poltergeist,” “ Raging Bull ”. “Robocop”, “Silence of the Lambs”, “Stargate”, “Thelma & Louise”, “Tomb Raider”, “The Magnificent Seven”, “The Pink Panther”, “The Thomas Crown Affair” – and, of course, the James Bond series. On the television front, the Amazon executive cited “Fargo”, “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Vikings”.
The pact follows AT & T’s decision to part ways with WarnerMedia and combine it with Discovery, a deal that many entertainment analysts say will trigger a new round of mergers and acquisitions as the companies of media and streaming players strive to lock in the most compelling content available. .
However, the companies that pitched tires on MGM during its low-key purchases in recent months had said they were shocked at the price Amazon was prepared to pay for the studio. They thought the studio was worth more in the order of $ 5-6 billion with some debt taken on. This was in part due to the fact that MGM shares the rights to the Bond franchise with Eon Productions. This company, run by half-siblings Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, has unusual control over the spy series – they approve of everything from marketing to casting to distribution. This means that Amazon will have a hard time gaining its approval at any time to, for example, debut the next Bond film on its streaming service, Amazon Prime.
Under the direction of film director Michael De Luca, MGM has lined up several promising projects, including “House of Gucci” by Ridley Scott, “Soggy Bottom” by Paul Thomas Anderson and “Project Hail Mary”, an adaptation of Andy’s novel. Weir which will star Ryan Gosling.
In recent years, Amazon’s studios division has reoriented its strategy towards more commercial tariffs such as “Coming 2 America” and “Without Remorse” and has moved away from award-winning productions such as “Manchester by the Sea” and ” Cold War ”.
At the end of the first quarter of 2021, Amazon had $ 73.3 billion in cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities on its balance sheet as well as long-term debt of $ 31.9 billion.