Amazon has officially closed an $8.5 billion deal to purchase MGM studios, giving it control of famous movie franchises like Rocky and James Bond.
After nearly a year of negotiations and red tape, Amazon is set to integrate MGM into its Amazon Studios. And it will add a huge array of creative talent that could completely change the direction of future projects.
Mike Hopkins, senior vice president of Prime Video and Amazon Studios said in a statement, “We welcome MGM employees, creators, and talent to Prime Video and Amazon Studios, and we look forward to working together to create even more opportunities to deliver quality storytelling.”
MGM’s biggest intellectual property is no doubt the James Bond franchise. But in addition to famous film franchises like James Bond and Rocky, the acquisition of MGM means Amazon Prime Video will be able to add more than 4,000 titles to its streaming service catalogue, including this year’s Oscar-nominated Licorice Pizza.
The big question going forward will be whether or not Amazon Studios continues MGM’s commitment to theatrical releases. We’ve seen other studios like Warner Bros and Disney blur the lines when it comes to exclusive theatrical releases and making new films available on studio-owned streaming services.
Disney received a huge amount of backlash for releasing Black Widow on Disney Plus just one day after its theatrical release. Meanwhile Warner Bros continues to release its comic book movie adaptations – such as Justice League and Suicide Squad – on its streaming service HBO Max on the same day as they are released in cinemas.
If blockbuster titles like Bond were to follow suit, cinemas would take yet another hit to their ticket sales that they may not recover from.
One reason to be excited about the takeover is the potential new wave of Amazon Prime originals that could be coming to the streaming services in the future. Amazon has previously made headlines with its record-breaking purchase of the rights to produce a Lord of the Rings series, due out this September. The integration of MGM means that even more exclusive and original content, with an almost unlimited budget, will be added to Amazon Prime in the coming years.
Could this give Amazon Prime the boost it needs to beat its biggest streaming rivals, Netflix and Disney Plus?
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