Amazon, a company of deep pockets and great ambitions, has just bought MGM Studios for a cool $8.45 billion. It feels pretty huge to be reporting this acquisition, but it’s not the silver bullet some might hope for. In fact, one of the frequent topics of discussion is how things might work for the James Bond franchise in the post-acquisition age. It’s a subject worth parsing out, as almost 60 years have passed the 007 franchise first associated with that studio as its default home base. Without further ado, here are six key things to know about the James Bond property after Amazon’s big MGM purchase.
EON Productions Is The Heart Of Power In The 007 Series
First and foremost, it’s worth noting MGM doesn’t own the rights to the James Bond series outright. Traditionally the studio has been a partner to EON Productions; the production company that was co-founded by Albert “Cubby” Broccoli, and is currently run by Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson. As such, the relationship has seen MGM fund the production of the 007 films, as well as domestically distribute them into theaters.
James Bond Will Probably Never Become A Streaming Exclusive
EON Productions’ control over the James Bond legacy means a lot of things will not happen under its watch. And one of the largest vetoes we’ve seen in the past year is the decision to reject some rather flush offers that streaming services were allegedly making in the name of luring No Time To Die into a streaming debut. With Amazon purchasing MGM, some may have thought this decision would have been overridden, but again, that’s just not going to happen.
No Time To Die Doesn’t Look To Be Heading To Amazon Any Time Soon
So No Time To Die won’t be debuting on Prime Video without a theatrical release, as we’ve pretty firmly established. But what about the streaming rights to that film and the rest of the 007 series? Well, there’s good news and bad news, and we’ll start with the good. MGM still maintains the rights to the James Bond series when it comes to theatrical, digital and worldwide television distribution.
MGM Currently Shares Certain James Bond Rights With Universal
For the final two aspects that we’ll be focusing on in the world of James Bond, we’ll explore on the non-streaming equation that Amazon has now taken on. As the company now owns MGM, that means that the domestic theatrical release experience will be Amazon’s official responsibility. However, there’s certain responsibilities that the studio will have to share with another party, as Universal Pictures holds key rights to No Time To Die.
The James Bond Series Is A Consistently Expensive Franchise
Amazon Studios has typically been known to produce more independent scale movies, with some big budget acquisitions like Coming 2 America making up for the higher end of its cinematic spending. But the $120 million it cost to bring the Eddie Murphy legacyquel is roughly half of what it takes to produce a James Bond movie, and the amount it usually takes for such a film to break even is definitely a concern.
Perhaps the greatest lesson of caring for the James Bond series is the fact that it an absolute monster of a saga when it comes to actually financing and releasing such a product. That’s what happens when almost 60 years of history leads a fan favorite franchise to try and outdo itself every time it goes to market. Even in the face of a new actor taking over the mantle of Bond himself, the expensive nature of a 007 adventure isn’t going to go away any time soon.
AUTHOR: Mike Reyes
DATE PUBLISHED: May 31, 2021