Friday, April 12, 2024

$8.45 Billion Sale: James Bond, Aretha Franklin Get “Respect” as Amazon Decrees that for MGM “This is No Time to Die”


Amazon is buying MGM Studios for $8.45 billion.

For MGM, Amazon has decreed, this is “No Time to Die.”

That’s the name of the James Bond movie Amazon will now release in November, postponed for a year and a half because of the pandemic. The coronavirus actually helped the James Bond franchise.

It also helped the Aretha Franklin biopic, “Respect.” MGM didn’t have the funds to promote that film properly, or run the necessary Oscar campaign. Every time they postponed the Bond film, they had to push off “Respect” because they needed the cash generated from the Bond for “Respect.”

MGM has basically been on the ropes for the last forty years. Every few years a new group of investors came in, used the famed library of films from MGM’s golden era to leverage their own interests, then sell it again and leave behind a husk.

Amazon is a great endgame for MGM. Now Amazon Studios, which has significantly upped its game in the last year under Jennifer Salke and others, will have a blockbuster film in Bond, an Oscar film in “Respect,” access to the “Rocky” and “Creed” franchises, plus the library.

Amazon will also get the MGM lion logo, which will do a lot to connect the company known for shipping toilet paper and food to Hollywood history. When the lion roars now at the front of a movie or TV show, it’s going to be lording over a whole new jungle!

One winner in this game might be Epix TV. An outlier and also ran in the streaming world Epix has always had quality programming that no one watched or could find. Maybe now as part of Amazon they will grow. (I only know about them because they had an excellent PR team at FrankPublicity who pushed and pushed them like a rock up a hill.) You see, every dog has its day!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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