Not to Be Left Out, Amazon Studios is Also Getting into the Original Movie Game
Over the last few months, Netflix has revealed plans to produce and distribute original films, like new projects from Adam Sandler, a ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ sequel, and the new ‘Pee-wee’ movie from Paul Reubens and producer Judd Apatow. It seemed fairly predictable that Amazon would also get into the movie game pretty soon, following their slate of original streaming series, like the critically-acclaimed ‘Transparent.’
Following their Golden Globe wins for their original series ‘Transparent,’ Amazon Studios has announced plans to move ahead with producing original films next. Via Mashable, Amazon says they plan to distribute about a dozen “prestige” films annually, which will premiere first in theaters before becoming available exclusively on Amazon Prime Instant Video anywhere from 30 to 60 days later.
While Netflix made the move into producing original films first, Amazon has been aiming to produce and distribute films since 2010, when they launched their Amazon Studios site, which encourages anyone and everyone to submit their scripts for original film and TV ideas. Some of those submitted scripts were developed into pilots for the streaming service, although none of the film scripts were good enough to warrant a deal.
Indie film vet Ted Hope has been hired as the Head of Production for Amazon Original Movies, which means the company is now officially ready to start producing films. While Amazon has yet to announce any upcoming titles, they’re definitely getting things rolling. And it doesn’t seem like they’ll have any trouble attracting directors for their planned “prestige” titles, as the company recently announced that Woody Allen is making his first television series with Amazon.
The question now seems to be whether or not major theater chains will agree to play Amazon Studios films, as most chains prefer not to screen films that will end up on VOD a month later. Amazon will likely be able to reach agreements with independent theater chains, however, although the company did not address this issue during their announcement.