Why Amazon Is Getting Into Feature Films

January 19, 2015 3:53 PM

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Amazon is doubling down on its plans to become a company that makes media, instead of one that just sells it. On Monday the company announced it will begin producing movies for theaters, with the goal of releasing a dozen original titles each year. For Amazon, the end goal is to get more people to sign up for its Prime service, the $99-a-year membership program that was once just a way to get free shipping. Movies that Amazon produces will show up on Amazon Prime Instant Video four to eight weeks after their theatrical debuts, much faster than it normally takes for movies to be available outside of theaters.

The venture, known as Amazon Original Movies, will be led by Ted Hope, who founded Good Machine, the production company that made Eat Drink Man Woman and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. Roy Price, the vice president of Amazon Studios, said in a statement that Amazon will serve as an alternative to th...

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