The MGM management have identified the Covid 19 pandemic and the domination of streaming platforms due to the closure of cinemas as the contributing factors for choosing to sell.
MGM has considered selling several times over the years, most recently to the streaming giant Netflix, however, talks fell through. Netflix has been very active in Budapest over the years, having produced many original films and television series, including THE WITCHER (starring Henry Cavill) and THE SPY (starring Sacha Baron Cohen).
The price tag of 5 Billion USD includes a library of over 4000 film titles, and 17000 hours of television. The offer may be attractive as MGM’s library contains the whole James Bond franchise. Bond is one of the most valuable movie franchises only behind Marvel, Star Wars, Wizarding World Harry Potter, and Spider Man.
Bond in Budapest?
There have been unconfirmed industry whispers that a future 007 production could use Budapest’s stunning architecture as a backdrop and plot element. Hungary’s tax rebate scheme of over 30% may be very attractive as well not just for locations but also for production in the soundstages. The 007 franchise has already shot in many locations around the world, the next Bond film NO TIME TO DIE has been shot in four countries.
Past & Future
Founded in 1924 it is one of the oldest studios in Hollywood. In 1971 it was announced that MGM would merge with Twentieth Century-Fox, however the deal never went through. Over the next years the studio was bought and sold various times, until it filed for bankruptcy in 2010. Emerging from bankruptcy Spyglass Entertainment executives Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum became co-chairs of the studio.