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. It was started in late 2010. Content is distributed through Amazon Video, Amazon's digital video streaming service, and is a competitor to services like Netflix and Hulu.
Scripts for television and films are submitted online to Amazon 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. 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."
In 2008, Amazon expanded into film production, producing the film The Stolen Child with 20th Century Fox. In July 2015, Amazon announced it had acquired Spike Lee's new film, Chi-Raq, as its first Amazon Original Movie.
Amazon Studios had received more than 10,000 feature screenplay submissions as of September 2012 and 2,700 television pilots as of March 2013; 23 films and 26 television series were in active development as of March 2013. In late 2016, it reorganized its film division into Prime Movies.
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. The company also acquired global TV ownership of Lord of the Rings for $1 billion 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, 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. 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).
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"). 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; 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.
Amazon Studio's first and only comic book series, Blackburn Burrow, was released in 2012 as a free download. It contained a survey allowing Amazon to collect feedback to determine whether or not it was worthwhile to make the comic into a film.
|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|
|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||A Rainy Day in New York|