According to an article written by Variety, Amazon is currently negotiating a deal with Metro Goldwyn Mayer to acquire the studio for $9 billion. In December 2020, Variety reported that MGM was exploring a sale of its studio, but nothing was officialized. It looks, however, that the sale will happen sooner rather than later with Amazon’s interest in buying the studio reaching serious levels of negotiations.
Variety also reports that the deal is being organized by Mike Hopkins, Senior Vice President of Amazon Studios and Prime Video directly with MGM board chairman Kevin Ulrich. The Information was reporting that the deal could run between $7 and $10 billion, but it looks like it might narrow down to $9 billion, with some thinking it might only be worth $5 billion.
No additional information has been given, with Amazon and MGM declining Variety’s requests for comments, but this might very well be one of the most important acquisitions by a company who has been at the forefront of offering compelling direct-to-consumer content with Amazon Studios and their streaming platform, Amazon Prime Video. As theaters are slowly recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, the future of moviemaking has been more uncertain than ever before. We already know that the 90-day window is no longer a viable option, as more studios are either opting in for a more robust offering in their DTC platforms (Disney, for example, is pivoting to a “DTC-first” model according to CEO Bob Chapek) or a hybrid day-and-date release (like Warner Bros. is doing for 2021), but what will Amazon’s role play if they indeed acquire MGM? Could franchises like James Bond make a debut on streaming platforms? It might be a far-fetched question to ask, but in this day and age, anything is possible…though we’re not here yet. Let’s wait and see.