Amazon Studios has launched a division to produce and acquire original movies for theatrical release and early window distribution on Amazon Prime Instant Video, led by former Fandor CEO Ted Hope (pictured).
As head of production for Amazon Original Movies, Hope will be tasked with commissioning and acquiring roughly 12 movies a year, with production slated to start later this year.
Amazon said movies will launch in theatres before coming to Amazon Prime Instant Video roughly 30 to 60 days after their theatrical premiere – much sooner than the 39 to 52 weeks it typically takes theatrical films to reach SVOD.
“Not only will we bring Prime Instant Video customers exciting, unique, and exclusive films soon after a movie’s theatrical run, but we hope this program will also benefit filmmakers, who too often struggle to mount fresh and daring stories that deserve an audience,” said Amazon Studios VP Roy Price in a statement.
Amazon Original Movies will focus on unique stories, voices and characters from top and up-and-coming creators, the company said.
“Audiences already recognize that Amazon has raised the bar with productions in the episodic realm, tackling bold material in unique ways and collaborating with top talent, both established and emerging. To help carry the torch into the feature film world for such an innovative company is a tremendous opportunity and responsibility,” said Hope.
“Amazon Original Movies will be synonymous with films that amaze, excite, and move our fans, wherever customers watch.”
The news comes after Hope stepped down as chief exec of streaming platform Fandor earlier this month, with investor Chris Kelly, former Facebook general counsel and chief privacy officer, replacing him on an interim basis.
Prior to Fandor, he served as head of the San Francisco Film Society, which runs the San Francisco Film Festival.