Within the wake of the surprise $43 billion merger between Discovery and AT&T’s WarnerMedia, rumors are racing that Amazon is poised to scoop up MGM in a deal that’s reportedly price below $10 billion.
A lot of this coming from a speculative report Monday in The Information. Deadline individually hears from sources that there’s been a weeks of talks between the tech big and the Hollywood studio that included gross sales displays. MGM declined to touch upon rumors, and Amazon didn’t reply. We’re awaiting extra intel on the time of this report.
Rumors have been afloat for years that the 007 studio has been up on the market. Days earlier than Christmas final 12 months, a WSJ report surfaced that MGM had tapped Morgan Stanley and LionTree to discover a sale. On the time, rumors had been swirling that one other tech big, Apple, was keen on buying the studio. MGM had been in search of $10 billion-plus, a price ticket thought-about too excessive by a lot of potential suitors who’ve been going off a $6 billion valuation for the corporate.
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Based on sources, hypothesis intensified late final week that an Amazon-MGM deal was imminent. The announcement of the AT&T-Discovery pact appeared to have slowed the momentum of the talks since, so it’s unclear whether or not they may result in an settlement.
What would Amazon be getting? One of many deepest movie libraries, which boasts over 5,200 titles, 17,000 hours of TV, 177 Oscar wins, 12 Greatest Image winners, the James Bond franchise that has grossed over $7 billion in its international B.O. lifetime, and the Rocky and Creed films which have collectively earned greater than a $1 billion. There’s additionally the Epix pay TV community, of which MGM took full possession in 2017, shopping for out the stakes of Paramount and Lionsgate. There’s additionally Emmy-winning collection comparable to The Handmaid’s Story, Fargo and Survivor amongst its large TV property. The rights to the James Bond franchise are owned by EON Prods.
MGM has been an enormous believer in theatrical, suspending its 007 title No Time to Die, Daniel Craig’s closing pic as James Bond, from Easter 2020 all the way in which to October 8 of this 12 months as a result of pandemic. The studio is ready for all international markets to be absolutely again on-line for the movie, which many imagine might be a $1 billion field office-grossing success. That stated, MGM did entertain affords from streamers for the pic that they in the end declined.
In the meantime, Amazon within the wake of its double-digit million Sundance 2019 acquisitions like Mindy Kaling’s Late Night time and Brittany Runs a Marathon has converted to a truncated theatrical window (of 1 to 3 weeks) for its films earlier than they hit Amazon Prime. The streamer’s Oscars contenders One Night time in Miami had a three-week theatrical window whereas Sound of Metallic was two weeks. The streamer’s large pic acquisitions Coming 2 America and With out Regret had been respectively launched in a handful of theaters throughout their first weekend on the service.
Whereas Amazon has its personal distribution and advertising arm, MGM promotes and releases its films by means of United Artists Releasing. which is a three way partnership with Annapurna boss Megan Ellison. She has been contributing closely to that j.v. and the query turns into whether or not her portion will get purchased out by Amazon or whether or not she takes again the reins on the distribution/advertising ops.
MGM’s monetary statements reportedly present $1.496 billion in income final 12 months, up from $1.18 billion in 2016. MGM’s greatest shareholder is hedge fund Anchorage Capital, whose founder, Kevin Ulrich, is chairman, and has been main the gross sales effort. Amazon just lately hit 200 million Prime members, 175 million of which streamed content material within the final 12 months.
Former New Line-DreamWorks-Sony government and Fifty Shades of Gray producer Michael De Luca joined MGM in January final 12 months to show the studio round, and energetic it definitely was in the course of the pandemic when a number of different studios pulled again their exercise. MGM acquired such packages because the Ridley Scott-directed Gucci film that has Girl Gaga taking part in convicted assassin Patrizia Reggiano, in a movie that additionally has Adam Driver, Jared Leto, Al Pacino, Jack Huston and Reeve Carney. MGM additionally picked up from Focus in turnaround Paul Thomas Anderson’s subsequent movie, in addition to the Ron Howard-directed Thai Cave rescue pic 13 Lives. Additionally they optioned the Ta-Nehisi Coates novel The Water Dancer with Oprah Winfrey and are engaged on a Pink Panther reboot and one other Creed sequel.