MGM reportedly using Bond rights to lure buyer

The Hollywood Reporter says MGM is levering 007 as the studio may be up for sale.

MGM may be up for sale following the surprise ousting of CEO Gary Barber last month.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, both domestic and international distribution remain up for grabs as Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer tries to find a buyer. Previously it had been widely assumed that Annapurna had the domestic distribution rights, but that turns out to be incorrect according to the article.

What is sure is that a large chunk of MGM’s value is derived from its share of the James Bond movie rights. According to THR:

Sony is said to be interested in buying the studio and has the cash on hand to pounce. The MGM library generates about $300 million a year in revenue, and the Bond franchise is said to be worth between $1 billion and $3 billion. With a $1 billion valuation on MGM’s most recent buy, the pay cabler Epix, the studio’s price tag should exceed $6 billion, say sources familiar with the company’s financials.

That makes complete sense given Sony’s desire to continue its involvement with Bond after its distribution deal with MGM ended. Sony Pictures distributed all four of Daniel Craig’s Bond films but that arrangement, already extended, expired with SPECTRE (2015).

THR also points out that to MGM’s lack of urgency in appointing a new CEO suggests that the studio is for sale. And with a release date now little more than a year and a half away plus Danny Boyle a “deal done, according to a source”, the situation with MGM and Bond needs to reach some kind of resolution fast.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

David Leigh founded The James Bond Dossier in 2002. A fan of 007 since the age of 8, he is also author of The Complete Guide to the Drinks of James Bond. You can order a copy here if you don't own it already.

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