Licorice Pizza

Source: Focus Features

‘Licorice Pizza’

Amazon Studios and Prime Video SVP Mike Hopkins gave little detail in two town hall meetings on Friday (18) after the $8.5bn merger closed this week.

Screen understands the interim leadership plan will for now see MGM COO Christopher Brearton, film group chairman Mike De Luca and worldwide television group chairman Mark Burnett report to Hopkins.

Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke will continue to report to Hopkins. According to reports employees were not allowed to ask questions although there was no indication of layoffs at MGM or its joint distribution venture UA Releasing.

As Screen reported yesterday it is understood Amazon Studios will not interfere with MGM’s current slate of productions, although it remains to be seen what happens to development projects.

Amazon has been eager to grow its content war chest for Prime Video as more rival streaming platforms come online and ramp up and MGM’s storied library of more than 4,000 films and 17,000 TV shows is a significant catch.

MGM is coming off a successful 2021 when Oscar-nominated films like No Time To Die, Licorice Pizza (pictured) and House Of Gucci grossed more than $300m at the North American box office. The company has eight to 10 films on the theatrical release runway for 2022.