Streaming is highly competitive, Disney + is strong, and HBO Max, Apple TV +, and Paramount + are determined to move forward. This has led the original streaming disruptors – Netflix and Amazon Prime Video – to rely more heavily on broad appeal films to keep growing, especially overseas.
The 58-year-old James Bond franchise is a Hollywood crown jewel that has generated tens of billions of dollars in ticket sales, home entertainment revenue, video games and marketing partnerships. However, 007 was both a lure and a deterrent to potential MGM bidders.
That’s because MGM only owns 50 percent of the espionage franchise. The rest are held by Barbara Broccoli and her brother Michael G. Wilson. Through their all-or-nothing company, Eon, the siblings also have creative control approving any type of dialogue, casting decision, stunt sequence, TV commercial, poster, and billboard. Bond has tremendous untapped value, with TV offshoots being a potential bonanza. But Ms. Broccoli and Mr. Wilson, concerned about branding falsification, have blocked spin-off efforts in the past: Bond belongs on big screens, not small ones.
“If we find the wrong partners, it can lead to conflict,” Wilson said in a 2015 interview.
“No Time to Die,” the 25th episode in the Bond franchise, cost approximately $ 250 million and is slated to hit theaters on October 8th. (The previous film “Specter” cost about $ 900 million worldwide in 2015.) The role of James Bond is expected to be re-cast after “No Time to Die” as Daniel Craig leaves the role after 15 years.
Amazon’s entertainment strategy has evolved with the proliferation of streaming services. Indie films like “Manchester by the Sea” and unconventional shows like “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “Transparent” have gained a foothold in Hollywood. Dominance requires a steady supply of mainstream hits.
The problem: Amazon Studios has limited bandwidth, mostly 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 one season. In order to fill its shelves with large films, Amazon turned to external providers. It paid $ 125 million for the rights to “Coming 2 America” and $ 80 million for “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”. In July, Amazon will be releasing The Tomorrow War, a science fiction spectacle it bought for $ 200 million.
Nicole Sperling contributed to the reporting.