Amazon Studios will now handle its own theatrical distribution, too

Darrell Etherington
Amazon Studios takes a very different approach to acquiring and releasing movies when compared to rival Netflix, and the most significant difference is that it releases major films in theaters first before making them available on its Prime Video streaming service.

Amazon Studios takes a very different approach to acquiring and releasing movies when compared to rival Netflix, and the most significant difference is that it releases major films in theaters first before making them available on its Prime Video streaming service. In the past, Netflix has worked with a handful on independent third-party distributors to make this happen, but starting in December, it's taking over theater distribution duties for its films, including marketing campaigns.

This won't affect its plans to actually release movies in theater, to be clear: Amazon tells Variety that it's still committed to that distribution model. But it will help the Amazon subsidiary evolve into more of a traditional Hollywood studio, and could give it some advantages in terms of attracting major projects and talents, which in turn will ultimately be a boon to Amazon Prime memberships once the projects enter exclusive digital distribution via the commerce giant's streaming video service.

Amazon Studios' marekting and distribution team has brought on IFC executive Mark Boxer to help make its aspirations a reality, and it will be adding additional staff to work on theatrical releases, while also simultaneously helping to cut down costs, and to gain greater control over the branding of its in-house projects. Variety also reports that Amazon Studios is working more on actually developing projects in-house from inception, instead of acquiring projects at film festivals, as it has done with its big hits like Manchester By The Sea.