You likely have heard the news that Amazon is buying MGM Studios for about $8.4 billion, and may get its franchises for Prime Video. However, many may be wondering if MGM Studios is still around and what made it such a big company.
At its height, the studio had a motto that says “more stars than there are in heaven” because it had many superstars under contract. It was regarded as one of the ‘big five’ film studios of Hollywood.
Here, we take a brief look at some of the biggest franchises that the company introduced. See 5 biggest franchises under MGM (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.):
1. James Bond
MGM holds the distribution rights to all James Bond films produced by Eon Productions. This production company made 25 of the 27 Bond films in history with actors such as Sean Connery, David Niven, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig, playing the fictional British secret agent working for MI6.
Additionally, despite the legal dispute over the ownership of the two other 007 films, “Casino Royale” and “Never Say Never Again”, MGM is still the official distributor. To understand how big the James Bond films have been, it is currently the sixth highest-grossing film series with a total of $7 billion.
2. Tom and Jerry
Yes, the studio owns the Tom and Jerry animated franchise. It is one of the longest-running series that originated in 1940 from under the pen of William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. Tom and Jerry original run between 1940 and 1958 won seven Academy Awards for Best Animated Short Film. It overtook Warner Bros. “Looney Tunes” as the highest-grossing animated short fill series in 1962.
Since the end of the original animated shorts in 1967, there have been several spin-off television series and even feature-length films. It is one of the most influential animated series of all time.
3. The Broadway Melody
Despite the last instalment coming in 1940, the American musical film titled “The Broadway Melody” is worthy of mention because it revolutionised Hollywood. Its 1929 release was the first sound film to win an Academy Award for Best Picture and was one of the first musicals to feature a Technicolor sequence, which sparked the trend of colour being used in a flurry of musicals.
In addition, it was the first Hollywood all-talking musical film. It had sequels in 1936, 1938 and 1940.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer also owns the American boxing sports-drama film series “Rocky”, which follows the fictional character of Robert ‘Rocky’ Balboa. It has grossed $1.7 billion at the worldwide box office and earned several Academy Award nominations.
From 1976 to 2018, there have been eight instalments, and the ninth is in the works with a 2022 release date. It has become a cultural influence with its own set of video games, documentaries, novels and songs.
5. The Handmaid’s Tale
“The Handmaid’s Tale” is one of the most successful TV series that MGM has distributed. It makes this list because it is also a recent production. The show’s first season won eight Primetime Emmy Awards from 13 nominations in 2017.
While its dominance has decreased over the years, it is still held in high esteem by critics.
There are several other franchises that MGM owns that did not make this list, such as the horror film series “Poltergeist”, comedy films “Barbershop” and “Legally Blonde”, and many more. This is proof that despite falling on hard times, it owns an impressive library that can rival other giant Hollywood studios.
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