Amazon to send its movies to streaming faster, speeding up their cinema run

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Amazon confirms that it’s not going to be so loyal to its 90 day theatrical window for future releases.

When it comes to streaming services funding and releasing their own movies, Netflix and Amazon Prime have been the most prominent, but the way they deal with theatrical outings for the their films have differed. Netflix has very much put its streaming service first, at best giving movies a brief theatrical outing before making them available in homes. Amazon, though, has had a stronger commitment to the theatrical window, with films such as Late Night failing to catch fire at the box office.

Amazon had been looking to protect a 90 day window for its theatrical releases, but it’s now decided to move away from that strategy. Tellingly, next month’s The Report arrives in cinemas on 15th November, and will be on its streaming service on the 29th, a gap of just two weeks.

In a conversation with The Hollywood Reporter, Amazon’s Jennifer Salke confirmed that she feels they’ve made mistakes. “There was not a lot of customer focus, which is what the company’s North Star is all about: Prime subscribers. So how do we evolve our movie business to be more focused on Prime subscribers?”, she said.

“We’re just trying to shift — it’s not closing the door on theatrical release… But it really is trying to get these movies to our Prime subscribers as soon as possible”.

She defended Late Night, a movie that it acquired at Sundance earlier this year for $13m, and then struggled at the box office. Yet she argues it’s been a savvy purchase for Amazon, and that on its streaming service, it’s been watched heavily.

She doesn’t rule out future theatrical releases of its ilk, but “it’s a case-by-case situation for us right now”.

The full piece at The Hollywood Reporter can be found here.

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