Amazon buys Hollywood studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer for $8.45 billion
Amazon “will help preserve MGM’s legacy and its catalog of films” by making them available to a wide range of audiences, the companies said in a joint statement. The MGM acquisition will also expand Amazon’s film capabilities, which already has Amazon Studio, which specializes in TV shows and series, into the film industry.
MGM (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer) is one of Hollywood’s oldest studios. Its catalog includes several thousand films that are classics of Hollywood, including “Ben Hur,” “The Wizard of Oz,” and the Bond movies. Pictures made at this studio have won a total of more than 200 Oscars, including 15 in the main category of Best Picture.
- The MGM acquisition would be the second largest purchase Amazon has made by value, following its $13.7 billion acquisition of supermarket chain Whole Foods in 2017.
- Amazon launched an online movie theater in 2006 and has been producing original content for it since 2013, such as the series “The Amazing Mrs. Maisel” and “The Man in the High Castle.” In 2016, Amazon Studio’s “Manchester by the Sea” received six Oscar nominations and won two Academy Awards for Best Actor and Original Screenplay.
Amazon has invested heavily in the creation of original series and movies exclusive to Prime video. This acquisition will allow the platform to compete with Disney+ and Netflix on a larger scale. Amazon believes that MGM’s catalog will nicely complement Amazon Studios’ range.
“The real financial value of this deal is the treasure trove of intellectual property in an extensive catalog that we plan to reimagine and develop with the talented MGM team. It’s very exciting and provides so many opportunities for quality storytelling.”Mike Hopkins, Senior Vice President, Prime Video and Amazon Studios
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer is an American company specializing in the production and distribution of film and video products. From 1924 to 1942 it was the undisputed leader of the Hollywood film industry.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was founded in April 1924 by Marcus Love, owner of a large cinema chain, who organized the merger of three film producers – Metro Pictures, Goldwyn Pictures S. Goldwyn and Louis B. Mayer Pictures” by L. B. Mayer. Since Nicholas Schenk, Love’s companion, was busy setting up theaters on the East Coast, L. B. Mayer (with the rank of vice-president) was appointed to head the film production in California.
The logo of the new company was the roaring lion of Goldwyn Studios, which first appeared on movie screens in 1916. From the same studio was borrowed the motto “Art for Art’s Sake”. Since 1932, the company’s advertising strategy has been based on the claim that there are “more stars than in the sky” in its films.
Mayer’s first task was to complete the production of the biggest-budget film in silent history, Ben-Hur: The Story of Christ, a project he inherited from Goldwyn Studios. The triumph of that film allowed MGM to overtake Universal Studios as the largest studio in the United States in terms of revenue. MGM would retain its title as the “locomotive of Hollywood” and first place in the “Big Five” of movie producers for the next 30 years.