Whilst the deal is far from done, early signs point to MGM’s 2021 slate remaining as it is if Amazon snaps the company up.
It’s been a bit quiet since the news broke almost a week ago that Amazon is circling MGM with a deal to buy the studio for a reported $9bn. That’s an amount significantly above the market valuation of $5bn, that’s seen by many as MGM’s actual worth. As such, it’s hard to see how this deal doesn’t happen (at least until competition regulators get involved), but for the time being it’s a case of wait and see.
However, one bunch of people who, predictably, and waiting to see are lawyers, who have been getting in touch with the studio to see if a potential sale would affect their client’s deals with the studio.
In fairness, you can see why the news of a sale to Amazon might alarm key creatives behind soon-to-release films like the latest 007 outing, No Time To Die. After all, with Warner Bros’ decision at the turn of the year to release its entire 2021 slate on HBO Max at the same time as releasing in cinemas, lots of creators were annoyed that their potential earnings through back end deals had been compromised, with less cinema takings meaning a smaller slice of the profit share for them.
As such, the studio has confirmed to several producers’ lawyers that the MGM slate for 2021 is ‘locked’, meaning ‘Respect on August 13th, the animated The Addams Family sequel on October 1st, No Time To Die on October 8th, Ridley Scott’s House Of Gucci on November 26th, and both Joe Wright’s Cyrano and Paul Thomas Anderson’s untitled new film at Christmas are still very much going theatrical only’, according to Dark Horizons.
Of course, the slate for 2021 being locked doesn’t rule out simultaneous releases in cinemas and on Amazon’s Prime video service, but as it stands, we’ll just have to wait and see. It’s hard to see such a big deal getting over every hurdle it needs this side of Christmas anyway. More on this story as it unfolds.
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