Amazon to Invest $1 Billion a Year for Theatrical Feature Film Releases

Amazon is looking to make a bigger leap into the theater market, investing $1 billion a year in their movies for cinemas, according to a Bloomberg report. This will be an internet company’s most significant commitment to the theater.

According to the report, Amazon plans to produce between 12 and 15 movies a year with a theatrical release, with 2023 seeing a small number of films with a gradual increase over time. Bloomberg mentions the annual release schedule will put Amazon up with major studios such as Paramount Pictures. This is good news for cinema chains, with AMC stock rising 9.2% and Cinemark gaining an extra 12%. However, theater ticket sales are reported to have dropped more than 33% since 2019, the final year of sales before the pandemic, with cinemas struggling to regain the momentum they carried before sales declined.

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Amazon Studios had seen success acquiring films in the past, with Manchester by the Sea winning two Oscars and receiving $78 million at the box office against a $9 million budget. Luckily, theaters are beginning to find an audience, with Top Gun: Maverick paving the way for a return to the cinema. Studios are looking to find their own success with a similar film, as Maverick owned the box office for months after release, raking in an astounding $1.4 billion.

Amazon Found Success in the Television Realm

Amazon Studios

Though Amazon Studios has yet to ramp up its theatrical film releases, the streaming service Prime Video has found plenty of success in television. Original series such as The Boys, Reacher, Jack Ryan, Wheel of Time, and Invincible quickly found an audience full of adoring fans. In addition, Prime Video took a big swing earlier this year, with The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power being the most expensive television series ever produced.

However, Amazon has the rights to plenty of beloved properties after they acquired MGM for $8.5 billion. Rocky, James Bond, Robocop, Stargate, and many others are part of the deal, meaning the studio can focus on established properties to find a return on their investment. In addition, we’ve seen other streaming giants find deals with the cinema, as the upcoming Knives Out sequel, Glass Onion, began premiering in theaters on Nov. 23 for a special sneak preview week. However, the film will leave the theater after its short run, heading to Netflix on Dec. 23 for a worldwide release. Amazon would be expected to keep its movies in theaters and across various chains. Fans can see how the deal goes forward as more and more films produced by the studio arrive in theaters around the world.