Amazon may have started out as a bookseller, but these days, it's so much more. It's a one-stop online shop for almost everything under the sun, as well as an entertainment portal where you can buy or rent electronic books, store music, stream movies, and more. On top of it all, the company's Amazon Studios arm will soon produce (and acquire) original movies for the big screen.
The decision to expand its reach into movie theaters comes hot the heels of multiple Golden Globe award wins for television series Transparent, along with Emmy-nominated Tumble Leaf, and Mozart in the Jungle. Amazon hopes its success with producing television series will transfer over to the big screen. And as an added bonus, Amazon says that its original movies will premiere on Prime Instant Video in the U.S. just 4 to 8 weeks after their theatrical debut, as opposed to the typical 39 to 52 weeks it takes for theatrical releases to premiere on video subscription services.
"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," said Roy Price, Vice President, Amazon Studios. "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."
To help ensure it meets goal of delivering "daring stories," Amazon has assigned independent film visionary Ted Hope to lead creative development. If you're not familiar with Hope, think of titles like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Eat Drink Man Woman, both of which came from production company Good Machine, which Hope co-founded and ran. He also produced American Splendor, The Brothers McMullen, and What Happened Was....