The Info List - Amazon Studios

Amazon Studios is a subsidiary of Amazon that focuses on developing television series, and distributing and producing films and comics from online submissions and crowd-sourced feedback.[3] It was started in late 2010.[3] Content is distributed through Amazon Video, Amazon's digital video streaming service, and is a competitor to services like Netflix and Hulu.[4]

Film and television

Scripts for television and films are submitted online to Amazon[5] and are read by staff. Amazon aims to review submitted scripts within 90 days (although the process can last longer). If a project is chosen for development, the writer receives $10,000.[6] If a developed script is selected for distribution as a full-budget movie, the creator gets $200,000; if it is selected for distribution as a full-budget series, the creator gets $55,000 as well as "up to 5 percent of Amazon’s net receipts from toy and t-shirt licensing, and other royalties and bonuses."[7]

In 2008, Amazon expanded into film production, producing the film The Stolen Child with 20th Century Fox.[8] In July 2015, Amazon announced it had acquired Spike Lee's new film, Chi-Raq, as its first Amazon Original Movie.[9][10][11]

Amazon Studios had received more than 10,000 feature screenplay submissions as of September 2012[3] and 2,700 television pilots as of March 2013;[12] 23 films and 26 television series were in active development as of March 2013.[3][6] In late 2016, it reorganized its film division into Prime Movies.[13]

On July 27, 2017, it was announced that, starting with the December 2017 release Wonder Wheel, Amazon Studios would be its own self-distributing company. Previously, Amazon Studios had relied on multiple external studios to distribute their projects.[14] The company also acquired global TV ownership of Lord of the Rings for $1 billion[15] However, Amazon still has external distribution clients outside of the United States, such as Elevation Pictures in Canada, as well as Warner Bros. and StudioCanal in the UK and France.

In January 2018, following the proposed acquisition of 21st Century Fox and its assets from Rupert Murdoch by The Walt Disney Company,[16] it was reported that Lionsgate (which has partnered with Amazon Studios for films such as Manchester by the Sea which was co-released via Lionsgate's independent film subsidiary Roadside Attractions and The Big Sick) is being subject to a bidding war for a possible acquisition, with Amazon.com (owner of Amazon Studios including Prime Movies), CBS Corporation, Comcast, Verizon Communications, and Viacom having made offers.[17][18][19] If Amazon.com's bid for Lionsgate wins, Lionsgate's film and television production/distribution assets will merge with Amazon Studios, while Amazon Prime will take control of Lionsgate's streaming services and incorporate them into Amazon Video. However, Lionsgate Vice Chairman Michael Burns has stated in an interview with CNBC that Lionsgate is mostly interested in merging with CBS and Viacom (both of which are in talks to merge back into one company).[20]


In 2015, Transparent was the first show produced by Amazon Studios to win a major award and the first show produced by a streaming media service to win the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy (aka "Golden Globe for Best Series").[21] In 2017, for Manchester by the Sea, Amazon Studios became the first streaming media service to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture;[22] the film was nominated for a total of six Academy Awards, winning Best Actor for Casey Affleck and Best Original Screenplay for Kenneth Lonergan. The film The Salesman (2016) won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film; it was directed by Asghar Farhadi and distributed in the US by Amazon Studios.[23]


Amazon Studio's first and only comic book series, Blackburn Burrow, was released in 2012 as a free download.[3] It contained a survey allowing Amazon to collect feedback to determine whether or not it was worthwhile to make the comic into a film.[3]



Release Date Film Title Notes
December 4, 2015 Chi-Raq co-distribution with Roadside Attractions; first film and release
March 14, 2016 Creative Control co-distribution with Magnolia Pictures
April 22, 2016 Elvis & Nixon co-distribution with Bleecker Street
May 13, 2016 Love & Friendship co-distribution with Roadside Attractions
June 24, 2016 The Neon Demon co-distribution with Broad Green Pictures
Wiener-Dog co-distribution with IFC Films
July 15, 2016 Café Society co-distribution with Lionsgate
July 29, 2016 Gleason co-distribution with Open Road Films
August 26, 2016 Complete Unknown co-distribution with IFC Films
September 9, 2016 Author: The JT LeRoy Story co-distribution with Magnolia Pictures
September 23, 2016 The Dressmaker co-distribution with Broad Green Pictures
October 21, 2016 An American Girl Story – Melody 1963: Love Has to Win co-distribution with American Girl
The Handmaiden co-distribution with Magnolia Pictures
October 28, 2016 Gimme Danger co-distribution with Magnolia Pictures
November 18, 2016 Manchester by the Sea co-distribution with Roadside Attractions
Winner of 2 Academy Awards: Best Actor (Casey Affleck) and Original Screenplay (Kenneth Lonergan)
December 28, 2016 Paterson co-distribution with Bleecker Street
January 27, 2017 The Salesman co-distribution with Cohen Media Group
Won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
February 3, 2017 I Am Not Your Negro co-distribution with Magnolia Pictures
April 14, 2017 The Lost City of Z co-distribution with Bleecker Street
May 12, 2017 The Wall co-distribution with Roadside Attractions
June 23, 2017 The Big Sick co-distribution with Lionsgate
July 7, 2017 City of Ghosts co-distribution with IFC Films
July 21, 2017 Landline
August 11, 2017 The Only Living Boy in New York co-distribution with Roadside Attractions
August 18, 2017 Crown Heights co-distribution with IFC Films
September 15, 2017 Brad's Status co-distribution with Annapurna Pictures
October 13, 2017 Human Flow
October 20, 2017 Wonderstruck co-distribution with Roadside Attractions
November 3, 2017 Last Flag Flying co-distribution with Lionsgate
December 1, 2017 Wonder Wheel
March 9, 2018 Gringo co-distribution with STXfilms
April 6, 2018 You Were Never Really Here

Upcoming films

Release Date Film Title Notes
July 13, 2018 Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot
September 21, 2018 Life Itself
October 12, 2018 Beautiful Boy
October 11, 2019 The Goldfinch Distributed by Warner Bros.
TBD 2018 The Man Who Killed Don Quixote
TBD 2018 Peterloo
TBD 2018 A Rainy Day in New York
TBD 2018 Suspiria
TBD 2019 Radioactive


  1. ^ Lumb, David (February 10, 2018). "NBC's Jennifer Salke is the new Amazon Studios chief". Engadget.  Her predecessor, Roy Price, resigned in October 2017
  2. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (17 October 2016). "Amazon Studios Comedy Chief Joe Lewis Adds Drama Oversight, Morgan Wandell To Head International Productions". Deadline. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Fritz, Ben (September 12, 2012). "Amazon Studios going into comics". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 12, 2012. 
  4. ^ Perez, Sarah (May 2, 2012). "Amazon Studios Now Funding Original Content Series For Amazon Video Service". TechCrunch. Retrieved May 2, 2012. 
  5. ^ "FAQ". Studios.Amazon.com. 
  6. ^ a b Moyer, Edward (June 23, 2012). "Amazon's 'Studios' effort picks first TV shows to develop". CNET. Retrieved June 23, 2012. 
  7. ^ West, Kelly (May 2, 2012). "Amazon Studios Invites TV Writers To Submit Comedy And Children's Series Ideas". Cinema Blend. Retrieved May 2, 2012. 
  8. ^ Graser, Marc Graser (February 21, 2008). "Amazon, Fox nursing 'Stolen '". Variety. Retrieved February 21, 2008. 
  9. ^ The Associated Press (July 15, 2015). "Amazon Studios acquiring Spike Lee film as its 1st release". The Denver Post. Retrieved July 15, 2015. 
  10. ^ Barnes, Henry (2015-07-16). "Spike Lee's Chiraq gets Amazon release – and Oscars push". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-02-27. 
  11. ^ Kharpal, Arjun (2015-07-16). "Spike Lee directs Amazon's first ever movie". CNBC. Retrieved 2018-02-27. 
  12. ^ Vanderbilt, Tom (March 28, 2013). "The Nielsen Family Is Dead". Wired. Retrieved March 28, 2013. 
  13. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (17 October 2016). "Amazon Studios Comedy Chief Joe Lewis Adds Drama Oversight, Morgan Wandell To Head International Productions". Deadline. 
  14. ^ "Amazon Moves Into Self-Distribution With Woody Allen's 'Wonder Wheel' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. 27 July 2017. Retrieved 29 September 2017. 
  15. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/nov/21/amazon-lord-of-the-rings-tv-netflix-disney-apple
  16. ^ "The Walt Disney Company To Acquire Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc., After Spinoff Of Certain Businesses, For $52.4 Billion In Stock". The Walt Disney Company (Press release). December 14, 2017. Retrieved December 15, 2017. 
  17. ^ "These 4 Tech, Media Giants Are In Talks To Buy Lionsgate". Investor's Business Daily. Retrieved 2018-01-19. 
  18. ^ "Lionsgate Ripe For Takeover As Amazon, Verizon and CBS-Viacom Emerge As Potential Suitors". Deadline. Retrieved 2018-01-19. 
  19. ^ "CBS, Lionsgate, Viacom heat up media space M&A rumors". FierceCable. Retrieved 2018-01-26. 
  20. ^ "CBS, Lionsgate, Viacom heat up media space M&A rumors". FierceCable. Retrieved 2018-01-26. 
  21. ^ "Amazon.com Announces Fourth Quarter Sales Up 15% to $29.33 Billion" (XBRL). United States Securities and Exchange Commission. January 29, 2015. 
  22. ^ "The Snubs and Surprises of the 2017 Oscar Nominations". Vulture. 24 January 2017. 
  23. ^ Jr, Ali Jaafar,Mike Fleming (2016-05-18). "Amazon Acquires Asghar Farhadi's 'The Salesman', Partnering With Cohen Media Group On Domestic – Cannes". Deadline. Retrieved 2018-02-27. 

External links