Amazon Looks at Making a Dozen Theatrical Movies Every Year

A box of popcorn on its side with popcorn and a phone reading "prime video" splash out.

Amazon reportedly wants to see its logo on the big screen in 2023.
Photo: Ink drop (Shutterstock)

Amazon must feel its money is burning a hole in its bulky pockets, even as the tech downturn has hit $1 trillion of stock value. And even though the company is potentially eager thousands of workers to the curb in the coming months, the tech and e-commerce giant wants to see its name in the spotlight as the projectors roll.

Bloomberg says they have spoken to anonymous sources who say they are aware of Amazon’s planned strategy. That purported strategy includes making between 12 and 15 theatrically released films next year. Such an effort would require more than $1 billion per year. According to Bloomberg’s reporting, Amazon will look at a smaller theatrical release schedule next year, but if that proves successful, they’ll ramp it up over time.

Essentially, Amazon wants to jump out of the choppy waters of digital streaming and jump headlong into the typhoon of large-scale movie production companies, which is the opposite direction that other big-budget production companies have gone. Paramount, Disney, and more have their own streaming networks, but those services keep getting better more expensive for consumers recently.

Amazon acquired MGM in 2021 for slightly less $9 billionsomething that US regulators have has been very interested in it ever since. That acquisition comes with a host of big titles like James Bond, though Bloomberg noted that the company is still looking for someone to lead the movie business after MGM’s two top executives left last year.

Amazon reportedly about $715 million spent produce Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power, making it one of the most expensive shows ever, and is three-quarters of what Amazon reportedly spends each year. Multiple years ago, Amazon acquired The big sick for $12 million and Manchester by the sea in front of $10 million, and then helped give them theatrical releases. Those movies did moderately positive returns compared to their production costs and sales, although they certainly weren’t blockbusters.

Moviegoers have been relatively slow to return to theaters after welcoming guests following pandemic closures. Bloomberg says ticket sales in the US are down more than 33% from 2019. Maybe people found it too comfortable to be able to watch movies from the comfort of their own homes. If Amazon’s alleged plans to hit the big screen materialize, it’ll be interesting to see if the movies pull off Top gun: Maverick-like success in getting people to leave their homes, or that many people will continue to wait for the movies to come to them.

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