This move is an effort to stay competitive with Netflix, which also recently announced plans to produce its own movies. The most high-profile so far is the upcoming sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which will be released simultaneously in IMAX theaters and on Netflix.
An Amazon press release explained that the model would be slightly different from Netflix, saying, “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.” In theory, this quick turnaround between theatrical release and VOD streaming could reduce online piracy.
Amazon Studios vice president Roy Price revealed that they plan to make “close to twelve movies per year.”
Amazon and Netflix have both succeeded in persuading well-known industry figures to work on their original programming, such as Amazon’s recent decision to produce a TV show by Woody Allen and Netflix’s star-studded House of Cards. It seems likely that Amazon’s original movie content will go a similar route, although no specific projects have been announced as of yet.
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