It’s official, Amazon will buy the legendary Hollywood studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, producer of the James Bond franchise among others, for the sum of 8.45 billion dollars.
Thunderclap, Amazon Prime Video will become a very serious competitor to Netflix and Disney +. In discussions for several months, the acquisition of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios by Amazon is now official according to Variety. For this important acquisition, Jeff Bezos, the boss of Amazon, will spend no less than 8.45 billion dollars, or nearly 7 billion euros.
This is Amazon’s second-largest takeover after that of the Whole Foods food chain in 2017 for $ 13.7 billion. With this acquisition, Amazon will considerably expand its Prime Video platform in order to occupy a greater place in the streaming market.
The historic MGM studios, with the roaring lion in the credits, have an impressive catalog of cult productions such as James Bond, Robocop, Rocky, The Pink Panther, Gone with the Wind. On the series side, Amazon acquires productions recognized by the public and critics such as Fargo and The Handmaid’s Tale.
In a statement, Amazon says it wants to help “preserving the legacy and catalog of MGM films”, which has nearly a century of cinematographic history and wishes to offer its customers better access to these essential works. Complementing the work of Amazon Studios, bringing MGM to Amazon control would be a way for the company to continue doing what studios do best: great storytelling.
A shock acquisition
The acquisition of MGM by Amazon but also the amount of the transaction sounds like a shock in the film industry, given that some potential buyers estimated the takeover at 5 or 6 billion with the assumption of certain debts.
Jeff Bezos has therefore taken a large sum of his wallet to secure the acquisition of the James Bond franchise, which MGM shares the rights with Eon Productions, directed by Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson. This company exercises significant control over the spy franchise, from casting to marketing to distribution.
It is evident that Amazon will struggle to get approval from Eon Productions to air the upcoming James Bond film, Die Can Wait, on Amazon Prime Video. Several times postponed, the last part of the adventures of 007 is still awaited in the cinema. But what about the rest of MGM’s planned line-up, which includes Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci, Paul Thomas Anderson’s Soggy Bottom and Andy Weir’s novel adaptation starring Ryan Gosling?
Amazon’s strategy for MGM’s film projects has yet to be fully disclosed, but there is no doubt that these big productions will be added to Prime Video’s soon-to-be huge catalog after their theatrical releases.