Amazon is planning to invest $1 billion in movies for theatres: Report

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Streaming services have mostly neglected theatres for their original movies. These companies have released their titles on fewer screens and for less time compared to traditional movie studios. Meanwhile, the e-tailer giant Amazon has reportedly planned to spend more than $1 billion a year to produce movies that it will release in theatres. According to a report by Bloomberg, sources familiar with the company’s plans have confirmed the same. The report also mentions that this can turn out to be one of the largest commitments to cinemas made by a tech company.
Amazon’s plans to make movies for theatres
As per the report, Amazon will release a smaller number of films in theatres in 2023 and will gradually increase its output. The sources added that the online retail major is planning to make between 12 and 15 movies (that will get a theatrical release) every year which will put the company on par with major studios such as Paramount Pictures. However, Amazon is yet to sort through its strategy, the report adds.
Theatres and streaming services
As mentioned above, streaming services like Netflix make their original movies and have never relied too much on theatre releases. The streaming giant has challenged cinema chains by releasing multiple movies per week for its home viewers.
However, Netflix has recently released a sequel to Knives Out in theatres. The movie is expected to stay in theatres for a week before heading to the streaming platform in December. The original movie was released in 2019 and was able to gross $312.9 million in revenue from theatres.

Meanwhile, Amazon has been more open to theatres compared to its competitor Netflix but is yet to invest as much in original movies. To compare, Netflix releases nearly 100 movies annually while Amazon produces less than a quarter of that number.
Amazon has ramped up its investment in original movies despite being in a cost-cutting mode. The company recently acquired the 98-year-old Hollywood studio MGM which has released movies like Ben-Hur and Legally Blonde for $8.5 billion.
The company’s founder Jeff Bezos has also pushed his Hollywood studio to develop and release more commercial material. This initiative has led to the making of the recent The Lord of the Rings TV series, along with other projects.
Apart from Amazon, all the other streaming companies including Apple and Netflix have invested more in original TV content before turning to film.
How Amazon may end up helping theatres
The report claims that the news has already lifted the market value of theatre operators and they will welcome the new product from Amazon whenever it arrives.

Theatre ticket sales in the US were down by more than 33% in 2021 compared to 2019 which was the last year before the pandemic closed the theatres.
Moreover, some of the biggest movie studios have also started releasing original movies online to boost their respective streaming services which has eventually affected the theatres.





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