Amazon to take on Netflix and Hollywood by producing films for cinema

19 Jan 2015

It’s a jungle out there in the world of cinema, but this hasn’t stopped Amazon announcing it’s going to not just produce online films, but also films for cinema theatres.

Having last week announced that acclaimed Hollywood director Woody Allen was to produce a TV series for Amazon Prime members, the e-commerce giant is now attempting to give itself a new weapon in its battle with streaming service Netflix by becoming the source of cinema-going movies.

Movie-subscription services including Netflix are kept in check by Hollywood by making sure films that are released in the cinema do not make it onto the small screen for at least 39 weeks after its initial release, to give it enough time to make as much money from ticket sales as possible.

However, Amazon has confirmed its new plan for its Amazon Studios division to produce its own Hollywood films that would receive the regular cinema release treatment, but vitally give it the ability to launch its films on its Prime service as little as four weeks after the films have entered the cinema.

By doing so, Amazon hopes to give them a serious competitive edge with Netflix, which has already established a dedicated subscriber base.

According to its statement on producing original movie content, Amazon is targeting the release of 12 films a year, starting this year.

To lead its move into Hollywood, Amazon has recruited Ted Hope, co-founder of the production company Good Machine, which was behind films including Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

As the new head of production for Amazon Original Movies, Hope said, “To help carry the torch into the feature-film world for such an innovative company is a tremendous opportunity and responsibility. Amazon Original Movies will be synonymous with films that amaze, excite, and move our fans, wherever customers watch. I am incredibly thrilled to be part of this.”

Cinema screen image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic