Amazon Studios announces plans to begin spending $1 billion annually to produce theatrical films, targeting production of 12 to 15 films a year.
amazon studios commits to spending a billion dollars a year to produce movies that will be released theatrically. The retail giant and its streaming service Prime Video have produced a number of movies like Manchester by the sea, the great sick, Y metal sound which received critical acclaim and Academy Awards. While the streaming service initially struggled to compete with Netflix when it came to producing original series, it managed to bring its movie releases to the big screen, with manchester by the sea exceeding expectations to gross over $79 million against its production budget of $9 million. Since then, the studio has helped produce the anthology welcome to blumhouse film series and the acquisition of a number of blockbuster projects, including Coming soon 2 America, tomorrow’s war Y without remorse.
Now Amazon is looking to redouble its efforts to be a serious contender at the box office, committing $1 billion a year to producing movies for theaters. Bloomberg reported that this commitment is close to the annual budget of Universal and Warner Bros., indicating Amazon’s interest in competing directly with the major studios. The production company’s long-term goals are to produce between 12 and 15 films a year, a pace set by the average studio release schedule. Nevertheless, Amazon Studios will release just a fraction of that number of movies next year, increasing the number of releases over time.
Amazon’s theatrical plan is good news for Bond and other MGM franchises
In March 2022, Amazon acquired the famed MGM movie studio in a massive $8.5 billion deal. This deal not only secured the broadcast rights to MGM’s massive catalog of movies and TV shows, it also gives Amazon the rights to use any of these properties in future projects. In particular, this gives Amazon the rights to create the upcoming series of James Bond films, probably a major motivator behind the acquisition. With Daniel Craig leaving the franchise after 2021 no time to die it’s the perfect opportunity for Amazon Studios to put its own mark on the iconic franchise.
MGM was one of the original Big Five studios during the early days of Hollywood responsible for producing some of the most iconic movies of all time. Of gone With the Wind a Rocky a legally blonde, the studio has been a major player in the industry for nearly a century and its cultural significance is a factor in its acquisition of Amazon Studios. Amazon’s vision for revitalize MGM sets it up in stark contrast to the other streaming services, all of which have been major industry disruptors. The studio’s respect for industry tradition may just be a PR move, but it’s smart nonetheless, especially with its new plans to spend $1 billion to produce theatrical movies.
The movie distribution industry has still struggled to recover from the massive losses theaters experienced in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic as more people choose to stream movies at home. A boost from one of the top producers of streaming content could be just the boost the industry needs. When news of Amazon’s plan for 15 theatrical releases a year reached Wall Street, shares of AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. was up 9.2 percent and Cinemark Holdings Inc. was up 12 percent, marking a promising sign for the marriage of the two industries. Nevertheless, amazon studios has a long road ahead if they intend to return the industry to its pre-pandemic state.