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MGM nearing deal with Annapurna for domestic distribution of Bond movies

11.13.2017

Getting Daniel Craig to come back for another Bond movie has been one challenge in getting the next movie made, on top of there being some intense business dealings going on behind the scenes. This involves who gets the distribution rights to the movies, and word is a deal is close to being finalized that will bring the next movie that much closer to fruition. 

Deadline got the scoop that the Bond rights holders, MGM, will soon be finalizing a deal with studio Annapurna Pictures for the domestic distribution rights for the next Bond movies. The previous global rights holder was Sony, but their contract expired in 2015 after SPECTRE, and there has been an intense bidding war ever since.

According to the report, “MGM’s Gary Barber and producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson are calling the shots, with Erik Lomis executing the domestic distribution and Marc Weinstock the marketing for the domestic release.” Lomis and Weinstock were able to secure rights for Annapurna given their past relationships, with Lomis having worked on the domestic distribution for Bond when he worked for MGM, and Weinstock marketed the movies while he was at Sony.

Now, this deal only handles domestic distribution, and international and ancillary distribution is still on the table. Big studios like Warner Bros., Universal and Sony are still in the game, and the deal is a big one given that 70 percent of Bond box office revenue comes from foreign markets. To put that into context, SKYFALL made about $800 million overseas, while SPECTRE made $680 million.

Annapurna is an unconventional choice for a studio with such a big franchise like this. The studio mostly handles small indie fare like HER, ZERO DARK THIRTY., AMERICAN HUSTLE and this year's DETROIT and PHANTOM THREAD. If they do get the rights to distribute the next few Bond movies they will no doubt be the biggest movies in their history, with their biggest earners being SAUSAGE PARTY ($140 million global) and AMERICAN HUSTLE ($251 million global). 

The next Bond movie is all set for November 8, 2019 with Daniel Craig. 

Source: Deadline

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