Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, which holds over 4,000 different franchise titles including the James Bond franchise, is currently in talks to hand over ownership to Amazon.
As reported by Variety, Amazon has been in negotiations with MGM for weeks, trying to buy the company for a total of $9 billion. If MGM accepts the offer, Amazon would have access to a large gallery of film and television, including the rights to the “James Bond,” “Mad Max,” “Rocky/Creed,” “Robocop,” “Silence of the Lambs” and the “Pink Panther” IPs.
“MGM claims to own one of the world’s ‘deepest libraries’ of premium film and TV content,” as stated in a recent Variety article addressing the matter.
Be that as it may, the pressure of the COVID-19 pandemic brought the studio’s progress to a staggering halt, losing a total of $12.1 million in the year-earlier quarter and profiting only a $29.3 million net income in 2021.
Amazon, on the other hand, has been on a roll with their hit streaming service: Prime. There are currently 200 million Prime members, as Jeff Bezos said in his final annual letter to his company’s shareholders, and the service has worked alongside several big name actors and actresses. The company has spent $11 million on film, television and other entertainment media in 2020 (40% more than the year prior).
In December of 2020, MGM announced that they wanted to sell their expansive film and television catalog, including the likes of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Addams Family” and “Vikings.”
The reason Amazon is looking to broaden its reach on film and television is to combat against several other rivaling streaming services, such as Netflix, Disney+ and the new Paramount+ — which includes programs from CBS, BET, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, MTV, and The Smithsonian Channel. Several of these services have been buying out small film studios and IPs, like Netflix recently buying the rights to “Knives Out” sequels for $450 million.
The pandemic was a huge contributing factor to the streaming war, but in the light of theaters reopening, it is uncertain whether they will or will not decrease viewership on home television. Either way, several studios are frantically looking to make profit by selling to the giants of home entertainment.
If MGM accepts the offer, Prime would be the home to some of the most celebrated franchises, like Mad Max, Rocky/Creed and the James Bond franchise. They will all be easily accessible on the service and would drastically change the tide of the Prime Vs. Netflix debate.