With the recent purchase of MGM Studios, Amazon is planning an increased investment into the theatrical space, according to Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke, who recently broke down the company’s strategy with Variety. Amazon now has the studio that brings you James Bond, and that’s totally separate from the side of the studio that’s spending $1 billion on a Lord of the Rings TV show that might or might not ever turn a profit. Bottom line: there’s a lot going on, and Salke has here eyes on more than one ball, but theatrical is going to get bigger, not smaller.
It’s likely, too, that more of Amazon’s films will head to cinemas. While Amazon is a hugely successful enterprise, and its streaming content has proven to be a great revenue driver, if you’re going to get into the blockbuster film market, ultimately you want that sweet, sweet box office cash (and the awards consideration) that a theatrical run brings.
“You’re going to see us investing, as a company, even more in film,” Salke told Variety. “You’ll see more investment and more expansive opportunities for film. You’ll see more fluidity between theatrical and streaming options for films. And then there’s a TV team that’s still working on great shows that exist outside our company. And we’re looking forward to more collaboration as time goes on.”
“With all the IP and our growing strategy around film, there’s going to be more opportunity,” Salke added.
Depending on what IP that is, might you see some of it coming to the big screen? Well, it’s hard to imagine James Bond won’t. But Amazon’s deep pockets don’t mean the movies themselves won’t have to turn a native profit.
“[Box office] definitely matters,” Salke said. “Our goal is to make some big films that will have value across the spectrum in theatrical and then to streaming. The goal is to make hit movies. We all know that’s not easy. As we build out the larger businesses around us and all the things we’re doing in ad-supported streaming, we’re just thinking about more options for customers. Nothing rings the bell louder than big originals that are global. So you’re going to see us invest more on the film side and the television side.”
Are you excited to see what Amazon does with their studios and the MGM brand going forward? Sound off in the comments below, or hit up @russburlingame on Twitter to talk about your favorite classic MGM flicks.