Amazon & MGM Talks Put Highlight On Theatrical Distribution, Bond – .
After the news on Monday that Amazon was trying MGM, there is radio silence. As of Friday we will hear that both sides are still active in talks and want to close the deal soon, but the timeframe remains indefinite.
Lots of sources tell us that the ecommerce giant’s takeover of Lion studio won’t derail MGM, as Amazon recently acquired big imagery like Paramounts Coming 2 America and Skydance co-productions The Tomorrow War and Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse Theatrical releases are already planned for this year, as distributed by United Artists Releasing. That said, these titles are not acquired and are strictly relegated to a streaming version like Paramount Harvest. We hear that the P&A budgets are locked on the MGM / UAR plan.
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A source mentioned that some producers’ lawyers have spoken to MGM business affairs people and that the takeover of Amazon would be “only positive, that business won’t be disrupted” for them. Big features MGM has on its plan for 2021 over UAR include the Aretha Franklin biopic Respect (August 13), The Addams Family 2 (October 1), No Time to Die (October 8), and the directed by Ridley Scott, Lady Gaga-Adam’s driver picture House of Gucci (November 26), the unnamed Paul Thomas Anderson film (November 26) and Joe Wright’s Cyrano (December 24).
After more than a year of the pandemic, several studios were streaming their theatrical releases. The most ambitious of these was Warner Bros., which dropped its entire movie board on HBO Max Day and Date this year, much to the wrath of Talent and Talent reruns; Of course, there is always the possibility that a theatrical release contract could get wrapped up in a streaming contract. As of this minute, the word is that the rest of MGM’s 2021 cinema board is safe.
It is unknown whether the MGM cinema board for 2022 will go to Amazon Prime or to streaming the cinema day and date. MGM and Amazon did not comment on MGM’s cinema board in 2021 and beyond.
Most notably, MGM / Eon’s upcoming 007 film, No Time to Die, which repeats Daniel Craig’s final twist as James Bond, is definitely slated for a theatrical release currently slated for October 8th. The producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson have already established that it is so. Broccoli reportedly signed a contract with No Time to Die to get a streamer license last fall. There were fleeting conversations between MGM and streamers like Apple, Netflix, and Amazon over whether they would purchase a one-year license of No Time to Die for $ 600 million (none of the streamers were willing to raise more than half). Universal takes care of No Time to Die overseas.
Following the $ 43 billion merger between Discovery and Warnermedia, The Information reported Monday that Amazon was in talks to acquire MGM. However, according to . alum Dawn Chmielewski at Forbes, Amazon and MGM already talked in January. Regardless, . heard that there had been week-long conversations between the tech giant and the Hollywood studio recently that included sales presentations. Both sides are silent about negotiations. Many tell us that MGM’s biggest stakeholder, the hedge fund Anchorage Capital, led by Kevin Ulrich, is desperate to sell. Anchorage’s ten-year position at Studio MGM is unusually long and has created tension with investors such as Highland Capital Partners, Davidson, Kempner Capital Management, Solus Alternative Asset Management and Owl Creek Investments. In 2016, MGM nearly sold to a Chinese candidate for $ 8-10 billion, but Beijing’s capital control policies at the time prevented that deal from moving forward, among other things.
MGM advertises a huge film library with far north of 4,000 film titles, 17,000 hours of television and the Epix pay TV network. The studio has been for sale for years. Other applicants can show up. No deal is allowed to be made at all. But the hefty price tag that Amazon is set to discuss (under $ 10 billion) is now the focus of the giant on Prime Video, which has around 200 million members worldwide. “Prime is the engine of Amazon,” said an industry source.
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