Amazon is buying MGM Studios in a $8.45 billion deal which gives it access to thousands of major film titles for its Prime Video service. News of a potential tie-up first broke last week.
The retailer and streaming giant has vowed to “preserve MGM’s heritage” while providing customers “with greater access” to the studio’s existing works. It also intends to “reimagine and develop” MGM’s portfolio of franchises and IP.
Founded in 1924, the studio controls the entirety, or substantial portions, of the libraries of United Artists, Castle Rock Entertainment, Orion Pictures, The Samuel Goldwyn Company, and the Canon Group, as well as its own post 1986 output.
Franchises under its control include the Bond series, Rocky, Robocop, Poltergeist, Stargate, and The Pink Panther. The firm’s TV business is responsible for hits such as The Handmaid’s Tale and Vikings series.
MGM has been the subject of several takeovers and sales in recent years, as well as a period in bankruptcy protection. Like all studios it’s suffered from the closure of cinemas due to the pandemic, leading its current owners to explore a sale.
Amazon’s purchase gives it control of more than 4,000 back catalogue films, as well as guaranteed access to future titles.
Mike Hopkins, Senior Vice President of Prime Video and Amazon Studios, said: “MGM has a vast catalog with more than 4,000 films—12 Angry Men, Basic Instinct, Creed, James Bond, Legally Blonde, Moonstruck, Poltergeist, Raging Bull, Robocop, Rocky, Silence of the Lambs, Stargate, Thelma & Louise, Tomb Raider, The Magnificent Seven, The Pink Panther, The Thomas Crown Affair, and many other icons—as well as 17,000 TV shows—including Fargo, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Vikings—that have collectively won more than 180 Academy Awards and 100 Emmys.
“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. It’s very exciting and provides so many opportunities for high-quality storytelling.”
Kevin Ulrich, Chairman of the Board of Directors of MGM, said: “It has been an honor to have been a part of the incredible transformation of Metro Goldwyn Mayer. To get here took immensely talented people with a true belief in one vision. On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank the MGM team who have helped us arrive at this historic day.
“I am very proud that MGM’s Lion, which has long evoked the Golden Age of Hollywood, will continue its storied history, and the idea born from the creation of United Artists lives on in a way the founders originally intended, driven by the talent and their vision.
“The opportunity to align MGM’s storied history with Amazon is an inspiring combination.”