Amazon Studios Gets Into the Feature Film Game

By January 19, 2015

Not satisfied with selling you candy, clothing, paintball guns, snacks, furniture, and the occasional book, Amazon announced today that they’re getting into the feature film game.

Hot on the heels of their double Golden Globe win for their original series “Transparent” — where star Jeffrey Tambor (“Arrested Development”) took home Best Actor and the show itself won Best TV Musical or Comedy — Amazon Studios has decided to go after the big boys and have brought in producer Ted Hope (Eat Drink Man Woman, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) as head of production for Amazon Original Movies.

In a statement to Variety, studio VP Roy Price says he’s looking forward to the future.

“We look forward to expanding our production efforts into feature films. 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.”

That said, there could be problems: Amazon Studios only plans to give these films a “four to eight week theatrical release window” (most theaters prefer a film have a minimum of 90 days in order for them to make money from ticket sales) and what with most of these chains doing their screening schedules/showtimes in advance, well…you do the math.

Hope himself says he wants 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.”

With guys like Marc Forster, Steven Soderbergh, and David Gordon Green launching new original series for the studio, along with Netflix’s plans for the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon sequel (and the August “day and date” deal with Weinstein Co. and IMAX), and the four-picture deal with Adam Sandler, there could be something transformative happening soon with the way we watch new movies.

I just hope for some kind of advanced discount or something for having a Prime account…I know I’m not the only one, right?

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Cricket Lee
Star Wars fangirl. Named Best Kisser by Time Magazine. CEO/Host: Girl Gamer; host of Gecken: GeekNation; writer: Dread Central. You'll have a crush on me soon. Vote Quimby. Twitter: @crixlee