Metro Goldwyn Mayer’s (MGM), a leading entertainment company focused on the production and global distribution of film and television content across all platforms, continues to expand and evolve the licensing strategy for its roster of iconic entertainment properties. At Brand Licensing Europe 2022 (BLE), MGM is set to unveil exciting plans and initiatives, along with special sneak peaks for Pink Panther, Wednesday, Killer Klowns, Vikings: Valhalla and more.
Over the years, MGM has built a large roster of licensees and other strategic partnerships in the apparel, accessories, gaming, home and collectibles categories, as well as live events and location-based experiences, and is continuing to expand programs for its broad portfolio. At the 2022 Brand Licensing Europe, MGM will focus on showcasing licensing programs for their deep portfolio of iconic films, including Pink Panther’s 60th anniversary launching late next year and the debut of Wednesday, a series based on Wednesday Addams, on Netflix later this year. MGM is also putting the spotlight on the second season of Vikings: Valhalla on Netflix and its classic horror portfolio with films like Killer Klowns.
Following on the immense success of Vikings, which transported viewers through epic adventures of the brutal and mysterious world of Ragnar Lothbrok, a Viking warrior, garnering an incredible 625 million cumulative views across its six seasons and 89 episodes, MGM Television’s Vikings: Valhalla is the newest chapter to thrill the franchise’s worldwide fans. Set 100 years after the original series, the heart-pounding, unstoppable action dramatically tells the story of family, loyalty, power and the most famous vikings who ever lived: Leif Erikson, Freydis Eriksdotter and Harald Harada. Vikings: Valhalla Season One premiered February 25 and ranks #1 on the Netflix Top 10 for the week of 2/28/2022 with 113.38M hours viewed, making the Top 10 in 90 countries. The series garnered 80.5M hours viewed during its first two days the week prior bringing it to an impressive 194M hours viewed in its first nine days, and MGM is now looking ahead to the second season debut. Stemming off of that success, MGM has exciting plans in the works for the new Vikings: Valhalla licensing program, including apparel and accessories from Hot Topic, C&A Modas, Marketing Licensed Products, Hybris Productions, TatooedNow!, Nastrovje and Ecell Global. Viking inspired costumes are also available from Fungilobal Development, along with collectibles, toys/games and decor from GB Eye and Winning Moves International.
MGM’s iconic character, Pink Panther, started life almost 60 years ago in the front and end credits of the legendary detective series of the same name. Its popularity spawned TV series, specials, comics, merchandise and has even become associated with the color pink worldwide. In 2020, MGM unveiled a brand-new shade of pink with Pantone for the beloved character, Pink Panther pink, which is a vibrant hue with undertones of blue and yellow, not only embodying the character’s famously smooth style that has helped to establish his place in the larger cultural zeitgeist. With a new color tone, and a film in development, MGM is taking Pink Panther to exciting new heights and will be discussing special moments planned for 2022 and 2023, ahead of its 60th anniversary in 2024, with a roster of new and first-time partners, as well as opportunities across merchandising, gaming, and other licensing categories.
MGM Horror Portfolio
MGM has one of the deepest and most sought-after cult classic horror libraries, from new additions including the recent box office hit with almost $60M in ticket sales, Candyman, produced and written by Academy Award winner Jordan Peele, to cult classics like Killer Klowns from Outer Space. MGM is also continuing to develop “Midnight Movies” and potential licensing opportunities tied to that. In addition, this year MGM has plans for unique retail activations, robust merchandising, gaming products and more. In addition to Candyman and Killer Klowns, there are many opportunities across an iconic portfolio including Carrie, Poltergeist, and The Silence of the Lambs.
Wednesday and The Addams Family
The Addams Family’s appeal spans generations with fans loving the timeless theme song and relating to the diverse cast of characters in their multigenerational family. Later this year, the new series, Wednesday, is set to debut on Netflix and is focused on the beloved character of Wednesday, with Tim Burton directing his first-ever television series. Wednesday follows Wednesday Addams’ misadventures as a student at Nevermore Academy, a very unique boarding school snuggled in deepest New England. This is the first time fans will ever get to see the character of Wednesday appear in a storyline of her own. Wednesday attempts to master her emerging psychic ability, thwart a monstrous killing spree that has terrorized the local town, and solve the supernatural mystery that embroiled her parents 25 years ago—all while navigating her new and very tangled relationships at Nevermore. Wednesday and The Addams Family offers unique opportunities for licensing and merchandising and MGM will look to expand everyone’s favorite Halloween family into a year round seasonal program.
The box office smash, Legally Blonde, continues to resonate with new fans and with Legally Blonde marking its 21st anniversary in 2022, MGM has planned a Legally Blonde Turns 21 licensing celebration built around the movie’s key tenets—empowerment, education, humor, and pink fashion, of course! MGM has some exciting licensees on board, such as Olympia Le Tan, Park Agencies and Funko and will also be launching a movie-themed concert tour later this year with TCG Entertainment to celebrate the fun music of this widely loved franchise. In addition, the first ever Legally Blonde mobile game will launch this year, combining puzzle and choice-based narrative mechanics with the empowering themes and positive messages of the films. Legally Blonde is also set to return to the big screen with Mindy Kaling and Dan Goor co-writing the script for the film’s third iteration, Legally Blonde 3, which will see Reese Witherspoon reprise her role as the beloved Elle Woods.
Creed is in the spotlight this year with the highly anticipated third installment, starring and directed by Michael B. Jordan in his directorial debut, set to hit theaters in March 2023. The MGM team is actively building a licensing program around this film tentpole after success with the VR game, Creed Rise to Glory and the recently launched console game, Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions.
Robocop and Sci-Fi Expansion
Robocop is one of Hollywood’s most iconic film franchises, with five films that transcend pop culture and IP with a strong legacy in the gaming space. Robocop is celebrating its 35thanniversary this year and continues to appeal to fans globally through a robust consumer products and licensing program, along with timeless movies that introduced this pop culture phenomenon. Additionally, Stargate-SG1, which has captured the imaginations of sci-fi lovers and inspired legions of fans around the world, is turning 25 this year, and MGM is leaning into the gaming category for this property with recent launches of highly anticipated titles including Stargate: Timekeepers and Astrokings x Stargate. Beyond Stargate-SG1 and Robocop, MGM continues to lean heavily into their sci-fi portfolio, continuing to expand their highly successful licensing program for other properties, within the realms of gaming, merchandising, and more.
The Rocky franchise has remained a global phenomenon because it presents moviegoers with universally relatable themes—ambition, passion, determination and giving it your all to be a champion, even when the odds are against you. MGM’s Rocky and Creed films have generated more than $1.3 billion in worldwide box-office sales, three Academy Awards, and 10 nominations. In addition, the Rocky franchise kicked off its 45th anniversary in November 2021 with a number of activations and new products set to roll out over the year, including a movie-themed concert series from TCG Entertainment, Rocky Tour Experience with the Bounce app, and Rocky-themed athletic run. Exciting new merchandise will also be available throughout the year, including footwear from Foot Locker x Diodoro, a stylish clutch from Olympia LeTan, Rocky apparel from Contenders, a new video game, Creed: Big Rumble Boxing, and collectibles from Funko and Fanatics.
Reimagination of the MGM Logo
In 2021, MGM’s logo got a CGI makeover reimagining the beloved “Leo the Lion” for a new generation. The new logo leans into the history of MGM’s iconic portfolio, while also giving the brand a fresh, modernized look. MGM will continue to grow their robust licensing program around the logo, which in the past has included deals with popular fashion brands like Zara and H&M.