Amazon is reportedly in negotiations to buy MGM, which maintains a vast film library including James Bond and the Rocky movies, for $9 billion.
Amazon is reportedly looking at acquiring MGM. In the wake of the news that AT&T is spinning off WarnerMedia to be acquired by Discovery, it seems like another prominent institution in Hollywood is becoming part of a larger corporation. As Amazon’s film division, Amazon Studios, is pushing further into the world of film, including this year’s Academy Award-winning film The Sound of Metal and the Academy Award-nominated One Night in Miami.
MGM, or Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, was founded in 1924 and is one of the oldest film studios in the world and became one of the big five studios in Hollywood’s Golden Age. Yet, in recent years the studio has fallen on hard times and has had many corporate owners over the years. The studio is home to one of the most extensive film libraries in film history, including the rights to the James Bond films, The Rocky/Creed franchise, the original Wizard of Oz, and the highly acclaimed television series The Handmaiden’s Tale. In 2010 MGM filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and eventually emerged from it, but in 2020 the company looked to sell the studio, and now they may have found a buyer.
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Amazon is reportedly looking to purchase MGM for $9 billion, according to Variety. Amazon and MGM talks have taken a turn for the series this weekend, with the price being somewhere between $7 billion to $10 billion. MGM has told potential buyers it is worth $9 billion, while some industry insiders say it’s probably closer to $5 billion. Neither Amazon nor MGM confirmed any discussion had taken place.
MGM’s vast catalog makes them a valuable asset to Amazon. The James Bond films and Creed franchises are still going strong, with new installments set for release soon. MGM also owns the rights to the Stargate franchise, which includes the original film and the various television spin-offs. MGM’s subsidiaries include United Artist and the film catalog of Orion Pictures, consisting of The Bill and Ted franchise and the Robocop films. These titles could become exclusive on Amazon Prime and become the springboard for new film and television productions. Amazon currently is producing the upcoming Lord of the Rings series, and MGM produced The Hobbit trilogy of films, and they could make Amazon the stop for all things Tolkien.
This news coupled with WarnerMedia’s merger with Discovery signals another creative shift in Hollywood. While the purchases of Pixar Animation, Marvel Studios, and Lucasfilm by Disney were significant stories, it was the acquisition of 20th Century Fox which marked the end of one of the biggest film studios in the world. If MGM becomes a part of Amazon, that’s is one less traditional Hollywood Studio, leaving the major film players to be Disney, Warner Bros., Universal, Paramount, Sony Pictures, and Lionsgate.
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