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Amazon Buys MGM Studios For $8.5 Billion

by : Cameron Frew on : 25 May 2021 11:59
Amazon Set To Buy MGM Studios For $9 BillionMGM Studios

Amazon has paid $8.5 billion for MGM Studios, the co-owners of James Bond and other iconic franchises. 

The bricks-and-mortar Hollywood studio put itself up for sale at the end of last year, giving itself a price tag of just more than $5 billion. After 97 years, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer is feeling the weight of must-have content anywhere, anytime, and has been struggling to compete with the big streamers.

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It has a huge release up its sleeve for later this year in the form of No Time To Die, Daniel Craig’s final outing as Bond. Amid constant delays and ballooning marketing budgets, the studio reportedly explored selling the title to Apple and Netflix, but neither side could agree on a price. Amazon has now acquired a new Infinity Stone in its marketplace gauntlet.

As reported by Variety, Amazon has bought MGM for $8.45 billion. It’s the company’s biggest acquisition since 2017, when it bought Whole Foods for $13.7 billion.

Following the sale, Amazon will preserve MGM’s history of entertainment ‘and provide customers with greater access to these existing works,’ the companies said.

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What does the deal mean for Amazon? Well, it’ll hold the keys to both the James Bond and Rocky franchises, as well as The Hobbit, Legally Blonde, The Pink Panther and Stargate. It will also swoop up its plethora of TV shows, such as The Handmaid’s Tale, Fargo, Shark Tank, Survivor, The Real Housewives and The Voice.

Sylvester Stallone and Michael B. Jordan in Creed. (Warner Bros.)Warner Bros.

Overall, MGM owns 4,000 film titles, such as Silence of the Lambs, Rain Man, RoboCop and The Terminator, as well as 17,000 hours of television. With Disney continually conquering the world with its monopoly and Netflix’s status as the ultimate household name, not to mention Apple TV+ and its original content, Amazon and MGM could be a powerful combo going forward.

Rumours emerged last year about MGM testing the waters to see if a streaming platform would be interested in buying the distribution rights to No Time To Die, likely a part-home entertainment, part-theatrical deal similar to Apple and Paramount Pictures. However, at a whopping $600 million, nobody was biting.

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Daniel Craig in No Time To Die. (Universal Pictures)Universal Pictures

The studio is said to have $2 billion of long-term debt, only made worse by No Time To Die‘s continual delays. However, even including debt, it’s still valued at more than $5 billion, with share prices rising in recent days due to chatter of a deal.

Meanwhile, production continues on Amazon’s Lord of the Rings TV series, easily its biggest and most high-profile project. With a budget of $465 million, executives have said it’ll need a ‘giant audience’ to make it worthwhile. With MGM’s library, it won’t have problems attracting more subscribers.

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Film and TV, Amazon, James Bond, MGM, Now

Credits

Variety
  1. Variety

    Amazon Buys MGM, Studio Behind James Bond, for $8.45 Billion