Amazon commits $1 billion a year to bring 12-15 movies to theaters.
By Mark McKee | Released
Cinemas have had a tough time over the past two years since the pandemic forced people out of public viewings and into the home-streaming life, waiting to see films like principle and no time to die. However, streaming services like Netflix and Disney+ have only benefited from social distancing and encouragement to stay at home while the pandemic raged. According to Bloomberg, Amazon Prime is trying to reverse that trend and has committed to investing $1 billion annually to bring 12 to 15 films to theaters annually.
According to an unnamed source inside the online retailer, Amazon wants to get into the theatrical release business by developing its own films for theatrical releases before streaming them through its service. While they commit a whopping $1 billion to the company each year, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Geetha Ranganathan believes it could yield a 15% to 20% return, putting it on par with bigger studios like Warner Bros. and Paramount Pictures. Of course, this only puts them in a more competitive race with their streaming rivals Netflix, Disney+, and HBO Max.
Amazon has stiff competition in this world. Disney+ has the advantage of being the streaming arm of one of the largest film production studios in the world, with properties like war of stars and Wonderalong with their live-action remakes coming to theaters.
HBO Max has its own Juggernaut franchises to boost its theater dollars with DC movies like Black Adam and The Suicide Squad and the Harry Potter Fantastic Beasts Precursor. Even Netflix is starting to bring movies to theaters knife out Consequence, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery will be in theaters a week before debuting on the streaming service.
While Amazon has a litany of properties to which they own the rights, with over a dozen films a year as part of the commitment, they’re sure to have a variety of original projects. Of course, while original films are some of the most entertaining, the biggest online retailer isn’t foolish to know that franchises are where the money is. So, what properties does Amazon own that can fill the franchise quota annually to get the greatest return on investment?
The answer lies in Amazon’s $8.5 billion acquisition of MGM, which brought the entire James Bond franchise to the streaming service. Along with the super spy and ability to continue their box office dominance, they also acquired the rights to Rocky, stargate, Robocopand GI Joe. All of which could bring with it the potential for significant franchise box office returns.
Of course, their property is not even taken into account Lord of the Rings Rights they have already started exploiting in the form of a prequel TV series. Or the other book-based TV series like jack ryan and the spin-off film set in the same universeWithout regrets, reachers, Bosche, The terminal list, and the upcoming Alex Cross series. Amazon’s $1 billion-a-year commitment might seem like a sizable number in advance, but the potential return could be worth five times that.