MGM has parted ways with Universal Pictures for international film distribution.
In a joint press release, MGM has announced that Warner Bros. will distribute its upcoming movies overseas. However, the pact does not include “Bond 26,” the next chapter in the James Bond series, as well as director Chinonye Chukwu’s historical drama “Till” (set for Oct. 14) and “Women Talking” (Dec. 2). Universal Pictures International is handling the rollout for those films outside the U.S. as part of a previous distribution agreement between the two companies.
Under their former agreement, Universal had helped MGM steer pandemic-era releases like Ridley Scott’s starry crime drama “House of Gucci” to $100 million overseas, Paul Thomas Anderson’s coming-of-age story “Licorice Pizza” to $15 million (which is impressive since the movie only generated $17 million in the U.S.), and “No Time to Die,” the 25th Bond entry, to $613 million internationally. Prior to landing at Universal, Sony Pictures International distributed the first four 007 installments with Daniel Craig as the suave super-spy. With the new arrangement, Warner Bros. will be responsible for Bond 27 and beyond — though that may take a while. Bond’s long-time custodians Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson have yet to announce a successor to Craig, who hung up his suit in “No Time to Die.”
Former MGM leaders Michael De Luca and Pamela Abdy, who were newly appointed as co-chairs and CEOs of Warner Bros. Pictures Group, arranged the deal with MGM’s chief operating officer Christopher Brearton. The partnership between MGM and Warner Bros. will begin with filmmaker Luca Guadagnino’s cannibal thriller “Bones and All,” which opens Nov. 23, as well as Michael B. Jordan’s directorial debut “Creed III,” which is scheduled for March 3, 2023.
Under the terms of the deal, MGM and Warner Bros. Picture Group will collaborate on marketing and advertising, publicity, film distribution and exhibitor relations on behalf of MGM’s future slate of theatrical releases outside North America (including China), with the team at Warners responsible for execution. The new agreement also includes worldwide physical home entertainment distribution on all newly released MGM titles.