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Amazon nearing deal to buy Hollywood Studio MGM for 9 Billion


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  • Romier S changed the title to Amazon nearing deal to buy Hollywood Studio MGM for 9 Billion

This is moving forward, pending approvals.

 

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Amazon and MGM announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Amazon will acquire MGM for a purchase price of $8.45 billion.

 

MGM has nearly a century of filmmaking history and complements Amazon Studios, which has primarily focused on producing TV programming, the companies said. Amazon will help “preserve MGM’s heritage and catalog of films,” and provide customers with greater access to these existing works, the companies said.

 

The MGM deal is Amazon’s second-largest acquisition, behind its $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods in 2017. Amazon didn’t say when it expects to close the MGM acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approvals and other usual closing conditions.

 

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MGM shares the rights to the Bond franchise with Eon Productions. That company, which is run by half-siblings Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, has an unusual amount of control over the spy series — the approve everything from marketing to casting to distribution. That means that Amazon will struggle to get their sign off on any move to, say, debut the next Bond film on its streaming service, Amazon Prime.

 

Under film chief Michael De Luca, MGM has lined up several promising projects, including Ridley Scott’s “House of Gucci,” Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Soggy Bottom” and “Project Hail Mary,” an adaptation of Andy Weir’s novel that will star Ryan Gosling.

 

https://variety.com/2021/biz/news/amazon-buys-mgm-studio-behind-james-bond-for-8-45-billion-1234980526/amp/

 

How this plays out for film fans I just don't know. It's always sad to see another corporate monster come in and take over a studio with a strong heritage, though a larger proportion of MGM's classics are owned by Warner (pretty much everything up to the late 60s) and MGM itself has been wallowing in the hands of uninterested hedge funds for years now. We'll see whether Amazon makes good on that comment to preserve MGM’s heritage and catalog of films, and what they mean by providing greater access to the studio's works.

 

Had Netflix, Apple or, God forbid, Facebook swallowed up MGM I'd be instantly pessimistic about the library's future physical media prospects, but Amazon owning a global sales network of physical goods could, COULD mean the studio's catalogue is kept in print on DVD and Blu-ray, even if it meant discs being limited for sale via Amazon exclusively. Warner currently have a contractual agreement to distribute MGMs films on physical media which was quite a recent deal, so I wouldn't expect things to rapidly go out of print as happened with a lot of Fox discs.

 

It might be wise for cinephiles and collectors to buy up some MGM titles on disc over the coming year though, especially those licensed to Criterion, Arrow, Shout, Kino...etc. Sound of Metal and One Night in Miami are going to be released by Criterion next year, but both were films acquired by Amazon rather than produced by Amazon Studios in house, so the actual production companies likely made the call for licensing those out. Consequently I'm not taking that as indication that Amazon will be friendly to licensing the MGM library to niche Blu-ray labels (and MGM, just as Fox were before the Disney buyout, have historically been very liberal about licensing their catalogue out for pretty much everything save Rocky and Bond, so it would be a tragedy to see that stop).

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