Nearly a year ago, Amazon announced plans to merge with the storied MGM studio for $8.5 billion dollars. Now, the deal has been completed, and Amazon is firmly in control of MGM’s film and TV library. That’s almost a century’s worth of content that features over 4,000 movies, including the James Bond films, as well as a television empire that has more than 17,000 episodes.
The $8.5 billion price tag may be small compared to the $71.3 billion that Disney paid for Fox’s entertainment assets in 2019. But the result and the endgame are the same. Amazon wanted MGM’s titles to expand its offerings on Prime Video, which was also the primary motivation for Disney — to use Fox’s titles to beef up the selections on Disney+ and Hulu. The upcoming WarnerMedia and Discovery merger will be the next big deal in Hollywood, but it probably won’t be the last.
To mark the completion of the merger, MGM’s chief operating officer, Chris Brearton, released the following statement.
“We are excited for MGM and its bounty of iconic brands, legendary films and television series, and our incredible team and creative partners to join the Prime Video family. MGM has been responsible for the creation of some of the most well-known and critically acclaimed films and television series of the past century. We look forward to continuing that tradition as we head into this next chapter, coming together with the great team at Prime Video and Amazon Studios to provide audiences with the very best in entertainment for years to come.”
According to Deadline, Amazon has no plans to mess with the Bond franchise, which may be the single-most lucrative property now under its control. Additionally, “Amazon is excited by MGM’s slate and doesn’t anticipate changes in release dates or on projects that are in progress” and “Amazon is not planning to make all MGM content exclusive to Prime Video.”
The report also notes that MGM’s new owners are not abandoning theatrical releases. That said, the door is open for more MGM movies to be Prime Video exclusives.
MGM’s Licorice Pizza is also nominated for Best Picture at this year’s Academy Awards. If it wins, it will become Amazon’s first-ever Oscar in that category.
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