MGM wants to sell ?


Another Hollywood studio is experiencing a pandemic. According to Deadline, MGM is considering a sale and has already spoken to two investment banks to oversee the process. The studio is valued at $5.5 billion, but has a debt of $2.3 billion. For years there were rumours about the sale of MGM, but it never happened. Now that other studios are developing (not to mention Disney), MGM alone cannot compete with them. Another factor is No Time to Die, the latest installment of MGM’s biggest franchise, James Bond, which they distribute for EON. The last film of 007 has been continuously delayed and has gone through a brutal development process that led to the departure of director Danny Boyle, who was replaced by Cary Joji Fukunaga. The film was finally scheduled for theatrical release earlier this year when COVID’s suspensions began, making it the first major film to delay its scheduled release. When November came and the closure wasn’t over yet, MGM even considered streaming the film live, which would have resulted in a $600 million one-year license for AppleTV. Apple was upset to pay so much for a movie, and EON insisted that MGM would not act too recklessly, and the idea faded. But the proposal to stream a James Bond movie on a streaming service is a big problem, and it speaks volumes about the dark situation MGM finds itself in. Nevertheless, Deadline believes that MGM can do it, as it has a fairly long list of upcoming releases, including Gucci, with a first-rate cast of director Ridley Scott, Paul Thomas Anderson’s next film and a third from Creed. But even if it’s not as bad as it sounds, it’s not good.

So it is not surprising that MGM is considering selling. The release of No Time to Die was a disaster, and the film had a huge press before the cinema closed. There were rumours of reruns because of bad test screenings, and the people working on the film did their best to make the audience believe it was a purified joke festival that blamed one of the most beloved characters in the science fiction world for being a loving husband and wife. (Ironically, it was Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the creator of Flea Castle, who seemed to understand him best when she said that if films are to evolve – yuck – Bond must remain true to the character). The theatrical release is scheduled for April, but one wonders whether the world will be able to continue filming at that time – or whether people will feel at ease to go to the movies again, causing Deadline to speculate that it will be postponed again. As I said before, when films are on the shelves, they end up costing more, especially blockbusters like James Bond, so even if it makes sense in the long run, delaying them will cause even more financial damage to MGM at a time when it’s not really necessary. The lacklustre performance of Wonder Woman 1984 is cited as proof that people don’t go to the movies, but that blockbusters aren’t ready yet, and that even where the theatres are open, people have to sit there, dressed for two hours, and at least half of the potential seats have to remain empty. This is an even bigger problem today than when all we had to do was talk and think about concessions. I stick to my prediction that people who mention the time of death in the movies are wrong, and when life is back to normal (if that’s the case), they’ll be back on track. We’ll see if the studios can wait that long.

Do you think MGM is going to sell? When will No Time to Die finally be released? Isn’t a roaring lion alone worth a few billion dollars? Give us your feedback and stay up to date with Geeks + Gamers for movie news!

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