Hold on to your popcorn! Amazon has revealed yet another ambitious plan. Launched in 2010 as a new way to develop feature films and episodic series, Amazon Studios is a well known name for television series such as Transparent, Annie-nominated Tumble Leaf, and Mozart in the Jungle. Today, it has announced that it will begin to produce and acquire original movies for theatrical release and early window distribution on Amazon Prime Instant Video.
Similar to Netflix in many ways, Amazon Prime Instant Video lets instant streaming of prime movies and TV shows. Whereas it typically takes 39 to 52 weeks for theatrical movies to premiere on subscription video services, Amazon Original Movies will premiere on Prime Instant Video in the U.S. just 4 to 8 weeks after their theatrical debut. Amazon Original Movies will focus on unique stories, voices, and characters from top and up-and-coming creators.
Roy Price, Vice President, Amazon Studios said,
We look forward to expanding our production efforts into feature films. Our goal is to create close to twelve movies a year with production starting later this year. Not only will we bring Prime Instant Video customers exciting, unique, and exclusive films soon after a movie’s theatrical run, but we hope this program will also benefit filmmakers, who too often struggle to mount fresh and daring stories that deserve an audience.
Hope's the hope
Amazon Original Movies creative development will be led by independent film visionary Ted Hope. Hope co-founded and ran production company Good Machine, which produced notable and Academy Award-nominated films such as Eat Drink Man Woman and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Hope said,
Audiences already recognize that Amazon has raised the bar with productions in the episodic realm, tackling bold material in unique ways and collaborating with top talent, both established and emerging. To help carry the torch into the feature film world for such an innovative company is a tremendous opportunity and responsibility.
With the production to begin in 2015, Amazon aims at bringing customers a dozen original, prestige movies each year.