Once upon a time, think of MGM Studios being connected with another company and one might of thought of The Walt Disney Company with Disney’s MGM Studios at Walt Disney World. Today, that changed with the announcement of an acquisition of MGM Studios by Amazon.
Amazon is purchasing MGM Studios, one of Hollywood’s remaining historic studios, for $8.45 billion. The announcement, made on Wednesday morning, is the second-largest acquisition for Amazon after its purchase of Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. It also marks a bold move further into entertainment by Amazon.
The acquisition will give Amazon access to MGM’s catalog of over 4,000 films and 17,000 TV shows. Some of these titles include the James Bond franchise, Rocky, RoboCop, Legally Blond, and even The Wizard of Oz. It also has shows like The Handmaiden’s Tale, Fargo, Shark Tank, Survivor, and The Real Housewives. This will help it compete in the streaming race against services like Disney+ and Netflix.
“The real financial value behind this deal is the treasure trove of IP in the deep catalog that we plan to reimagine and develop together with MGM’s talented team,” said Mike Hopkins, senior vice president of Prime Video and Amazon Studios. “It’s very exciting and provides so many opportunities for high-quality storytelling.”
MGM Chairman Kevin Ulrich said in a statement: “The opportunity to align MGM’s storied history with Amazon is an inspiring combination.”
According to both companies, the deal “is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.”
As competition among the streaming services continues to grow, companies have been forced to look for new ways to build up their streaming offerings. Most recently Discovery and WarnerMedia announced they were merging in a deal worth $43 Billion.
How this acquisition will impact the future of MGM Studios at this point remains to be seen. While Amazon is very interested in the MGM Studios catalog, not a lot has been said about the studio moving forward. A new James Bond film is set to be released later this year and presumably more down the line. Will they be released through the MGM banner? Also, HBO Max and Disney have changed their approaches to movie releases since the pandemic. Could Amazon choose to begin to alter theatrical releases to benefit Amazon Prime? Will Amazon be able to get through the regulatory process for this acquisition? These are just a few of the questions that are beginning to be asked as this deal is announced.
The acquisition of MGM Studios by Amazon puts Amazon right in the middle of Hollywood. It also moves one of Hollywood’s classic studios into a new era of modern movie-making in the streaming age. What the looks like remains to be seen but, the entertainment landscape continues to change quickly and this acquisition is just the most recent example of that.
What do you think of Amazon purchasing MGM Studios? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!