Amazon’s appetite for movies was starved during 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 adventure that set on March 2 July will be released on Prime. Amazon also has Oscar ambitions and bought the rights to Sound of Metal, which was nominated for best picture and other top prizes at this year’s ceremony and won the Oscars for sound and editing.
The problem: Amazon Studios had limited bandwidth, largely related to television series – including an upcoming adaptation of “Lord of the Rings,” considered the most expensive show of all time, with a budget of $ 465 million for a season.
MGM managers could help. Michael De Luca, MGM’s film chairman, can look back on a success story that includes the franchises “Rush Hour”, “Austin Powers” and “Fifty Shades of Gray” at various companies. When it comes to making their own successful films, Amazon has had problems for a long time. In a 2015 debacle, Amazon spent a lot of money casting its spell on Woody Allen and later terminated the contract, which led to lawsuits.
MGM also has a television library with 17,000 episodes and a television studio that shows “Vikings”, “The Handmaid’s Tale”, “Fargo” and various “Real Housewives” shows. In 2014 MGM acquired Mark Burnett’s production company One Three Media, which owns the rights to competitive series such as The Voice. Mr. Burnett, a controversial figure in Hollywood for helping to shape Donald J. Trump’s image with “The Apprentice” and being close to him during his tenure as President, serves as the television chairman of MGM.
Anchorage Capital, a New York investment firm, has been the majority owner of MGM for more than a decade. Previously, MGM was thrown between the owners and eventually ended up bankrupt along with declining DVD revenues. According to analysts, it was worth around $ 2 billion in 2010.
Kevin Ulrich, CEO of Anchorage and Chairman of MGM, officially put the studio on the block late last year. Anchorage has been pressured by various stakeholders to exit the investment. Some agitators complained that Mr. Ulrich was overly in love with Hollywood and should have sold years ago.
“The ability to reconcile MGM’s history with Amazon is an inspiring combination,” Ulrich said in a statement. “I am very proud that MGM’s Lion, long remembering Hollywood’s Golden Age, will continue its story.”