Amazon spends over  billion and releases 15 theatrical movies annually – The Streamable

Amazon spends over $1 billion and releases 15 theatrical movies annually – The Streamable

Amazon continues to carve its own path in the media landscape. According to a report from Bloomberg, the e-commerce juggernaut plans to spend more than $1 billion a year in the coming years to fund a solid line of theatrical films.

Bloomberg’s Lucas Shaw reports that Amazon’s new theatrical venture will begin next year, with a smaller lineup of films and build from there until it releases 12 to 15 films each year. If Amazon reaches that number of theatrical releases per year, the company will align with some of Hollywood’s biggest studios, such as Paramount.

The move better frames Amazon’s $8.5 billion acquisition of MGM Studios earlier this year. As it turns out, the company wasn’t just interested in MGM because of its extensive library of movies and TV series. Now Amazon already has a movie production infrastructure up and running, rather than having to start one from scratch.

The move will undoubtedly be music to the ears of theater owners. Movie ticket sales are still down 33% from 2019, the last full year theaters were open before the COVID-19 pandemic. Hollywood executives are also keenly interested in theatrical movie recovery, as they tend to make millions more in profits than streaming exclusives.

The strategy will also be closely monitored by other streaming services. Netflix has a notoriously rocky relationship with movie theater chains, and last month co-CEO Ted Sarandos reiterated his stance to bring Netflix movies to theaters for an extended period of time.

“We are in the business of entertaining our members with Netflix movies on Netflix… There are all kinds of debates going on all the time, back and forth,” Sarandos said. “But internally there is no question that we make our movies for our members, and we really want them to watch them on Netflix. And, of course, with a week-long release in theaters, most people will see them on Netflix. Just like they see all the movies. Most people watch most movies at home.”

Amazon will be in a unique position to profit from its theatrical films if they are financially successful. The company can then make them available for rental or purchase on its own website before finally migrating them to its Prime Video streaming service. At $1 billion a year, the gamble is an expensive one for Amazon, but the company could see a huge financial return on its investment.

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