Amazon’s appetite for movies became ravenous throughout the pandemic. It paid $125 million for the rights to “Coming 2 America,” $80 million for “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” and $200 million for “The Tomorrow War,” a Chris Pratt journey that may arrive on Prime on July 2. Amazon additionally has Oscar ambitions, shopping for the rights to “Sound of Metal,” which was nominated for finest image and different high awards at this 12 months’s ceremony and received the Oscars for sound and modifying.
The drawback: Amazon Studios has had restricted bandwidth, most of which is tied up with tv collection — together with a coming “Lord of the Rings” adaptation that’s believed to be the most costly present ever made, with a one-season finances of $465 million.
MGM managers might assist. Michael De Luca, MGM’s film chairman, has a observe report that features, at numerous corporations, the “Rush Hour,” “Austin Powers” and “Fifty Shades of Grey” franchises. When it comes to creating its personal hit movies, Amazon has long struggled. In one debacle from 2015, Amazon spent lavishly to deliver Woody Allen into its fold and later terminated the contract, prompting lawsuits.
MGM additionally has a 17,000-episode tv library and a TV studio that makes “Vikings,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Fargo” and numerous “Real Housewives” reveals. In 2014, MGM acquired Mark Burnett’s manufacturing firm, One Three Media, which holds rights to competitors collection like “The Voice.” Mr. Burnett, a contentious determine in Hollywood as a result of he helped shape Donald J. Trump’s image with “The Apprentice” and remained near him throughout his divisive presidential time period, serves as MGM’s tv chairman.
Anchorage Capital, a New York funding agency, has been the bulk proprietor of MGM for greater than a decade. Before that, MGM was tossed between homeowners and, bitten by falling DVD income, ultimately ending up in chapter. It was worth about $2 billion in 2010, in response to analysts.
Kevin Ulrich, Anchorage’s chief government and MGM’s chairman, formally put the studio on the block late final 12 months. Anchorage has been underneath stress from numerous stakeholders to exit the funding, with some agitators complaining that Mr. Ulrich was overly enamored with Hollywood and will have bought years in the past.
“The opportunity to align MGM’s storied history with Amazon is an inspiring combination,” Mr. Ulrich mentioned in a press release. “I’m very proud that MGM’s lion, which has long evoked the Golden Age of Hollywood, will continue its storied history.”