Amazon Prime Video just got a big boost.
Wednesday (May 26), Amazon backed up the Brink’s truck and dropped an $8.5 billion bag for the iconic Hollywood studio company that is the home of James Bond and Rocky. The deal is the largest since Amazon’s $13.7 billion acquisition of the grocery chain Whole Foods in 2017. The deal will give Amazon Prime Video a boost with new programming created from MGM properties while strengthening Amazon Studios’ original productions.
So what can we expect as viewers? Well, possibly spinoffs, reboots, and sequels, being that Amazon revealed it would be digging into MGM’s film and TV franchises.
“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,” Mike Hopkins, Amazon’s senior vice president of Prime Video and Amazon Studios, said in a release. “It’s very exciting and provides so many opportunities for high-quality storytelling.”
In the same breath, that doesn’t necessarily mean that MGM movies will go straight to Amazon Prime exclusively. It also doesn’t mean all of MGM’s classic properties will be streaming on the service either. Amazon didn’t give a clear indication if that would be the case saying it didn’t have any comment on the matter.
Most importantly, what does this mean for MGM’s most important franchise, James Bond? The next film, No Time to Die, has had its wig pushed back numerous times due to the COVID-19 pandemic having an Oct. 8 release firmly locked in. MGM doesn’t fully control Bond films. A small production company called Eon Productions ran by a brother-sister duo, has creative control and makes all decisions like who will be the next James Bond, when will the next Bond film drop, and if Bond should be turned into a TV series, an idea that the company has shut down.
MGM also has the licensing arrangement with ViacomCBS’ Paramount Plus, which will see films like No Time to Die, House of Gucci, and Creed III, stream on those networks first following their theatrical runs plus Epix, the network MGM also runs has exclusivity to those films for a limited time.
We are intrigued to see how this merger shakes things up. It comes on the heels of AT&T announcing a merger of WarnerMedia and Discovery, creating a new media giant.
The deal has not been finalized and is still subject to regulator approval and other customary conditions before it can close. It is already being met with skepticism from Capitol Hill, with Senator Amy Klobuchar calling on the DOJ to probe the deal.
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