Apparently, winning big at the Golden Globes has done a lot for Amazon's confidence in its Prime Instant Video service. Now, in addition to original TV series, the company plans to produce and release 12 movies per year, both in theaters and on its online streaming platform.
Of course, the movies won't run simultaneously in theaters and on Amazon. Theaters will get first run of Amazon's original films, with its streaming service getting dibs four to eight weeks later. Considering that most movies take up to 52 weeks (or longer) to enter the streaming market, Amazon's timeframe might appeal to both theater and streaming aficionados alike.
"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," says Amazon Studios Vice President Roy Price. "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."
Amazon's streaming rival Netflix also plans on releasing original movies, with a sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon currently in the works. However, Amazon's program differs in that their films will go to theaters first.
With theater attendance at an all-time low last year, Amazon and Netflix are definitely onto something. In a recent study, over 70 percent of people surveyed stated they were "very" or "somewhat" interested in watching new movies at home and would even pay up to $20 for that option.
Amazon promises that its films will be engaging and on par with its current offerings of original content, which includes the Golden Globe winning series Transparent, along with the recent critically-touted pilot of the science fiction drama The Man In The High Castle.
"To help carry the torch into the feature film world for such an innovative company is a tremendous opportunity and responsibility," says Ted Hope, Amazon Original Movies Head of Production.. "Amazon Original Movies will be synonymous with films that amaze, excite, and move our fans, wherever customers watch."
Hope is no stranger to film and once ran the production company responsible for Academy Award-nominated films Eat Drink Man Woman and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. He also has won more Grand Jury Prizes at the Sundance Film Festival than any other producer for films American Splendor, The Brothers McMullen and What Happened Was...