Amazon is getting even more ambitious. After it won acclaim for one of its original television productions, the online website said it’s planning to produce and attain movies for theatrical release and for early delivery on the Prime Instant Video Service.
Amazon original movies are set for availability in the U.S. streaming market four to eight weeks after they’ve been introduced to the theater market. This is a tremendous drop from the 39 to 52 week window that films typically get played in theaters before they’re seen on streaming services.
Amazon’s move is another one of its ambitious plans to boost its entertainment content to consumers and increase the rivalry it has with Netflix.
It’s a sign that both companies have a bigger goal to change the world in terms of the window system for movies and TV in the conventional entertainment industry.
Last fall, Netflix said it had come to a movie deal agreement with comedian Adam Sandler and said a sequel to “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” would be released around the world and in a few Imax theaters.
Both companies have certainly changed television, meaning shows are available for streaming soon after they’ve been seen on conventional networks and releasing original series all at one time.
Amazon said the company is looking to make 12 movies a year – putting attention on original stories, characters and voices from many well-known and rising creators.
Production will begin later this year. Amazon Studios Video President Roy Price, said the “indie-like” movies will have a budget of $5 million to $25 million.
Analysts have said low-quality, low-budget films would be difficult to bring about the change streaming services are looking to make in the traditional theatrical release system.
However, BTIG Research media analyst Rich Greenfield said the announcement puts additional pressure on conventional business models and provide consumers more of what they’re looking for. He said consumers don’t know why there’s such a big gap between seeing movies in theater to seeing them at home.
Amazon’s news comes just one week after the company’s original series “Transparent” won a Golden Globe for the category best television comedy. It’s the first time any streaming service earned an award at the Globes.
Price said film projects would not undergo the same pilot process that television series have to go through, using viewer feedback to see if the projects should continue.
Amazon has employed the services of Ted Hope to produce the original movies group. Hope was in charge of “Good Machine,” a production company that generated films like “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and “Eat Drink Man Woman”.