Show stocks rose today on news from Bloomberg that Amazon will reportedly spend $1 billion annually on theatrical releases.
We hear such a plan is really in its infancy – read how Amazon still doesn’t have an executive to take on MGM at the cinema. haircut? Ever since Amazon bought MGM, it has been trying to figure out how to put the genie back in the bottle: Amazon bet heavily on films during the Jason Ropell-Bob Berney-Ted Hope administration, with reported box office numbers and wide releases – sometimes releasing Pictures via distribution partners including Lionsgate, STX, Roadside Attractions and Bleecker Street before bringing it home under IFC Day-and-Date distribution czar Mark Boxer. When Jen Salke took over the studio in 2018, she switched to a Netflix-like theatrical/streaming model with limited theatrical releases during a shorter or day-and-date window synced with a Prime Video drop.
Of course, ever since they picked up MGM, a return to the theater has been on the minds of Amazon bosses. They are in the process of reconfirming contracts with MGM Theatrical Marketing and Distribution. We heard the plan calls for eight to ten films a year, not twelve. Amazon is trying to fill the vacancy left by former MGM bosses Mike De Luca and Pam Abdy, who left Warner Bros. this year. Former Warner Bros. executive producer Courtenay Valenti is one of the leading candidates for the gig, although formal talks have not yet begun.
In fact, Amazon has a big theatrical release this weekend in United Artists Releasing’s bones and such by filmmaker Luca Guadagnino. And Amazon has Orions To in theaters, earning $8.6 million. What was the highest grossing Amazon Studios film of all time? The drama directed by Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams manchester by the sea, which grossed $48 million in the United States and $79 million worldwide. The film won Oscars for Affleck for best actor and filmmaker Kenneth Lonergan’s original screenplay.
Among the highlights of stock activity from exhibitors today: Cinemark rose 12.6% to close at $12.83; AMC up +4.37% to $7.64; Imax rose 9% to $15.78; and Marcus was at $15.99, +1.85%.
Again, the move to theatrical releases is an indication of where the wind is blowing in the industry and how a windowing system for IP is becoming more appreciated, not only by movie studios, but by streamers as well. Today, Netflix is experimenting with a week-long theatrical release across the three major cinema chains Glass Onion: A Mystery of Blades. We’ve heard that ticket sales are booming this weekend compared to other fresh adult releases the mythical creatures, and Mission. Many of the big movies that Amazon had on Prime Video – Cinderella, Hotel Transylvania 4, Comes 2 America and The war of tomorrow – were films from other studios for which they paid a lot of money.
Amazon declined to comment on the news today.
Author pmc-u-font-size-14″>Writer: Anthony D’Alessandro
Bernice Bonaparte is an author and entertainment journalist who writes for The Fashion Vibes. With a passion for pop culture and a talent for staying up-to-date on the latest entertainment news, Bernice has become a trusted source for information on the entertainment industry.