Amazon Studios takes a very different approach to acquiring and releasing movies when compared to rival Netflix, and the most significant difference is that it releases major films in theaters before making them available on its Prime Video streaming service. Amazon Studios has previously worked with a handful of independent third-party distributors to make this happen, but starting in December, it’s taking over theater distribution duties for its films, including marketing campaigns.
This won’t affect its plans to actually release movies in theater, to be clear: Amazon tells Variety that it’s still committed to that distribution model. But it will help the Amazon subsidiary evolve into more of a traditional Hollywood studio, and could give it some advantages in terms of attracting major projects and talents, which in turn will ultimately be a boon to Amazon Prime memberships once the projects enter exclusive digital distribution via the commerce giant’s streaming video service.
Amazon Studios’ marketing and distribution team has brought on IFC executive Mark Boxer to help make its aspirations a reality, and it will be adding staff to work on theatrical releases, while also simultaneously helping to cut down costs, and to gain greater control over the branding of its in-house projects. Variety also reports that Amazon Studios is working more on actually developing projects in-house from inception, instead of acquiring projects at film festivals, as it has done with its big hits like Manchester By The Sea.