Amazon to Start Theatrical Movie Operation

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Amazon said it was seeking to create 12 movies a year that “focus on unique stories, voices, and characters from top and up-and-coming creators.” Production will start later this year.
First the small screen, now the big screen. Amazon’s entertainment ambitions come in all sizes.
After winning acclaim for one of its original television productions, Amazon announced Monday that it would produce and acquire films for theatrical release and early distribution on its Prime Instant Video service.

Amazon original movies will be available for U.S. streaming four to eight weeks after they make their debut in theaters, a significant reduction of the window of 39 to 52 weeks that films normally play in theaters before becoming available for streaming.

The development is another step in Amazon’s ambitious plan to increase its entertainment offering to consumers, and an escalation in Amazon’s rivalry with Netflix. It also signals both companies’ broader ambitions to revolutionize the so-called windowing system for TV and movies in the traditional entertainment industry.

In the fall, Netflix announced movie deals with comedian Adam Sandler and also said it would release a sequel to the movie “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” simultaneously across the globe and in a select number of Imax theaters.

Both companies already have shaken up the model for television, making shows available for streaming soon after they are televised on traditional networks and also releasing original series they produce all at once.


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