Amazon Studios has distributed some of the best lower-budget movies in recent years, including The Lost City of Z, The Handmaiden, The Big Sick, The Salesman, and Manchester By the Sea, which won two Oscars, including Best Actor. So, naturally, Amazon is ditching indies in favor of finding the next Bright.
Reuters reports that Amazon is heading to the Sundance Film Festival, where Call Me By Your Name ($3.5 million budget), Get Out ($4.5 million), and A Ghost Story ($100,000) premiered in 2017, to “go after films with budgets in the $50 million range at the expense of indie projects costing around $5 million.”
The move reflects a new phase in the online retailer’s entertainment strategy. Initially, Amazon worked on high-brow movies that would win awards, put it on the map in Hollywood and help it attract top talent. Now, Amazon wants programming aimed at a far wider audience as it pursues its central business goal: persuading more people to join its video streaming service and shopping club Prime. (Via)
The shift from prestige to popcorn comes shortly after the announcement that critically acclaimed but presumably low-rated series One Mississippi, I Love Dick, and Jean-Claude Van Johnson were canceled in favor of Amazon hoping to find a Game of Thrones-level (and very expensive) hit with a Lord of the Rings series.
With Disney seemingly owning half the entertainment industry, it’s getting harder and harder for indie movies to find distribution. This news doesn’t help. And if the worrisome trend continues, here’s what finding a movie based on an original idea or without a “Part Three” at your local theater will feel like.