Amazon buys MGM for $8.45 billion

MGM logo
(Image credit: MGM)

The consolidation of Hollywood continues, as Amazon and MGM have announced a merger agreement that will bring MGM under the Amazon banner. The deal is worth $8.45 billion.

MGM is one of Hollywood’s oldest and most iconic studios. It has a catalog of more than 4,000 films, among which are the likes of the James Bond movies, 12 Angry Men, Legally Blonde, Poltergeist, the Rocky and Creed franchises, Silence of the Lambs, Tomb Raider, The Pink Panther and more.

There are plenty of TV shows that MGM has made over the years as well, including Fargo, Vikings and The Handmaid’s Tale.

In the joint press release, Amazon said that one of its main goals will be to “preserve MGM’s heritage and catalog of films, and provide customers with greater access to these existing works.”

That means that a majority, if not all, of MGM’s catalog of titles will at one point or another make their way over to Amazon Prime Video. It is not clear in the announcement what that may mean for a show like The Handmaid’s Tale, which has been a Hulu series for its entire run.

It will also be interesting to see what this means for the next and final installment of the James Bond franchise with Daniel Craig, No Time to Die. The film was one of the first to be pushed off its release date by the pandemic and has been delayed multiple times since. There were reports that MGM considered selling No Time to Die to a streamer, but ultimately nothing came of it.

Amazon Studios, the feature film arm of Amazon, was pretty good about letting certain movies run in theaters pre-pandemic. Will they stick with that strategy now and with a title as big as James Bond? Currently, No Time to Die has a release date of Oct. 8 for theaters.

Update: Longtime James Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson say they plan to keep the Bond franchise on the big screen even with the Amazon deal.

Other upcoming MGM films that may be impacted by this deal include the Lady Gaga-Adam Driver starrer House of Gucci, Jennifer Hudson’s Aretha Franklin biopic Respect, The Addams Family 2 and the upcoming untitled Paul Thomas Anderson film.

This is just the latest major merger hitting Hollywood. WarnerMedia and Discovery are set to combine into a single company; ViacomCBS was the result of a merger; and of course a few years ago we had Disney and 20th Century Fox joining forces.

“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,” said Mike Hopkins, senior vice president of Prime Video and Amazon Studios. “It’s very exciting and provides so many opportunities for high-quality storytelling.”

Amazon and MGM’s merger is still subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. No timetable was given for when those may take place.

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Only Murders in the Building, Yellowstone, The Boys, Game of Thrones and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.