Following her comments about it at the TCA presentation last week, Amazon Studios Chief Jennifer Salke has now gone into further detail with THR about the streaming giant’s plans to change up their film release strategy and bring a good portion of its output directly to the service – bypassing cinemas.
Salke says that Amazon plans to lift the total number of films it is releasing through Amazon Prime to around a total of thirty annually, with around two-thirds of that aiming to go direct-to-service. She also confirms she’s ready to change things up and be more like Netflix when it comes to how they open films if they go theatrical:
“You’ll see less of the three-month window, and you’ll see different variations. Even through Sundance, I learned a lot about just how flexible we can be with those models, and they really vary.
In some cases, it’ll be important for us to get the movie quickly to the service, while still following through with a theatrical release that feels much shorter, two weeks even, two to eight weeks. And then in other cases, we’ll allow, where it makes sense, a wider release strategy.”
She goes on to reiterate how her deals with Nicole Kidman and Jason Blum’s production houses will tap into that – serving as the backbone for much of their direct-to-service movie making with Blum doing eight of his low-budget genre films while Kidman’s Blossom Films are producing “sexy, date-night movies” (ala. “Cruel Intentions”) which aren’t made much anymore:
“I’m like, ‘Let’s just get those movies directly, where we could release over the summer’. Every Saturday night, one of those comes out, and then you create some binge-ability and a marketing story behind it…There could be twenty direct to service movies managed within a given year also at least.”
Amazon Studios spent $47 million to purchase five films at Sundance – the most spent by any single company at the fest. Salke also says she’s “totally” open to Amazon doing a major blockbuster film franchise.