Amazon plans to create feature films, put them online weeks after theater release

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Amazon Is Going to Produce Original Movies for the Theater That Quickly Get to Prime.

Amazon.com is following a Golden Globe win for its original television show “Transparent” by saying Monday it would begin to produce and acquire original movies for theatrical release as well as distribute them sooner on its Prime video service.Jill Soloway, creator of Amazon Studios’s hit series “Transparent,” and the series’ star Jeffrey Tambor clutch their Golden Globes after the series won awards for “best comedy series” and “best actor.” NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — After its original series “Transparent” won Golden Globes for “best comedy series” and “lead actor,” the nearly five-year-old Amazon Studios has set its sights on the big screen. The movies will be released first in movie theaters and then weeks later for streaming customers, following Hollywood’s traditional business of delaying releases into the home. The move follows the double Golden Globes win for Transparent, Amazon Studios’ transgender comedy series and the news that Woody Allen is to produce an original series for the retailer’s digital service.

Just five years after its launch, Amazon Studios says it will begin producing motion pictures this year and aims to release a dozen original “prestige movies” annually. The move aims to capitalize on the company’s recent success in producing television shows, help filmmakers who might otherwise struggle to produce their work, and possibly shake up the timing of how movies are distributed to theaters and other outlets. Amazon Studios is fresh off the success of series “Transparent” at the Golden Globes and its deal with Woody Allen to produce a new streaming series — accomplishments that have drawn comparisons to online giant Netflix. Their swift appearance on-demand will further challenge the traditional four month gap between a film appearing at the cinema and its DVD or online release.

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. Hope co-founded and ran Good Machine, a production company behind some Academy Award-nominated films, including “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” and “Eat Drink Man Woman.” Amazon Original Movies will focus on unique stories, characters and voices from “top and up-and-coming creators,” according to the company. Both online firms have become stronger rivals to Hollywood studios and television networks, with their growth in subscribers and ability to fund dozens of new projects.

Hope was a co-founder of the production and sales company Good Machine, which produced “Eat Drink Man Woman” and “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” among other movies. I am incredibly thrilled to be part of this.” Roy Price, vice president of Amazon Studios, said: “We look forward to expanding our production efforts into feature films. 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 programme will also benefit film-makers, who too often struggle to mount fresh and daring stories that deserve an audience.” Netflix provoked a backlash from US cinema exhibitors after announcing that its films would debut simultaneously in cinemas and on its streaming service. More from WSJ.D: And make sure to visit WSJ.D for all of our news, personal tech coverage, analysis and more, and add our XML feed to your favorite reader.

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