Amazon intends to make full-length films and release them in movie theatres, the company announced on Monday.
The technology giant says it intends to produce 12 movies a year, which will enjoy traditional theatrical releases, before becoming available to stream on Amazon Prime 4 to 8 weeks later. Amazon Studios, the company’s media production arm, has already enjoyed multiple successes, including the Golden Globe-winning “Transparent.” But this is the company’s first foray into feature films.
The company says the service, called Amazon Original Movies,” will focus on unique stories, voices, and characters from top and up-and-coming creators.” It has yet to name any planned features.
The news comes as competition between Amazon Prime and Netflix intensifies. The rival streaming service is due to debut the sequel to “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” in August at the same time as it opens in cinemas, in what CNN described as “the realisation of Netflix’s long-held goal to let subscribers see films at the same time they have in movie theatres.” In October, Netflix also signed a deal to bring 4 original Adam Sandler movies to their platform.
“Our goal is to create close to twelve movies a year with production starting this year,” VP of Amazon Studios Roy Price said in a statement about Amazon Original Movies. “”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.”
The project will be spearheaded by Ted Hope, whose production company Good Machine was responsible for “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and “Eat Drink Man Woman.”
“Audiences already recognise that Amazon has raised the bar with productions in the episodic realm, tackling bold material in unique ways and collaborating with top talent, both established and emerging,” said Hope. “To help carry the torch into the feature film world for such an innovative company is a tremendous opportunity and responsibility.”
As The Next Web notes, Amazon is currently doubling down on its original content. Just last week the company announced it had signed Woody Allen to produce his first-ever television show, which will be streamed exclusively over Amazon Prime.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.