Last week, we previously reported that Amazon was currently negotiating a deal to buy Metro Goldwyn Mayer for a sum of $9 billion, according to an article written by Variety. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the mega-corporation is said to be in serious negotiations of acquiring MGM for $9 billion, with details as to what exactly the deal would entail, with an agreement potentially being announced as early as next week.
Firstly, if the deal closes, Amazon would have access to MGM’s film and television library, which comprises over 4,000 titles and 17,000 hours of television, for its streaming service, Amazon Prime Video. However (and most importantly, which was a question that was raised in our report), Amazon would have control over the studio’s most popular film franchise: James Bond. After Sony’s deal with MGM to distribute the franchise expired in 2015 after the release of Spectre, many major motion pictures started to make deals to acquire distribution rights for the franchise. For 2021’s No Time to Die, the film will be distributed by United Artists in North America, with Universal Pictures taking care of its international markets.
However, with Amazon potentially acquiring MGM, this has a potential chance of changing No Time to Die’s release strategy. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the studio did explore a licensing deal to distribute the film, even making deals with Netflix and Apple TV+ to release the film on their streaming service, but the deal never came through. If Amazon acquires MGM before its release, could it make a debut on Prime Video?
The future of MGM is definitely unclear, and there are lots of questions that still need answering, but it looks like the deal is soon to be finalized, which would be Amazon’s biggest acquisition to date. With more tentpole films making their debut on streaming services, Amazon’s acquisition could change the distribution game further than the COVID-19 pandemic did. Though only time will decide what the deal entails and how Amazon plans to distribute future MGM productions going forward.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter