Amazon to spend $1 billion on theatrical releases, boosting cinema stocks

Cinemas stocks acquired a lift Wednesday after a report mentioned Amazon plans to spend $1 billion a yr on theatrical movie releases.

The tech firm plans to make between 12 and 15 films for film theaters annually, Bloomberg reported, citing individuals accustomed to the matter. A smaller variety of movies might be produced in 2023 as Amazon builds up its output, the report mentioned.

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Cinemark jumped 11% on the information, with IMAX up 7% and AMC up 5%.

Amazon declined to remark.

Amazon has deepened its investments in unique content material over time via its Prime Video streaming unit, in addition to its film and tv studios. The firm spent $13 billion on content material for its video and music streaming companies final yr, up from $11 billion in 2020, because it seems to be to stay aggressive within the crowded media panorama. 

Earlier this yr, the e-retailer bolstered its media ambitions when it acquired legendary film maker MGM Studios for $8.45 billion. 

Amazon founder and govt chairman Jeff Bezos has made no secret of his want to develop the corporate's media enterprise, and he has lengthy believed that it might assist drive Prime subscriptions and extra purchases on its core e-commerce web site. 

Amazon has launched films in theaters up to now. It premiered the primary two episodes of its Lord of the Rings sequence in cinemas for a restricted window, and its 2017 comedy "The Big Sick" was proven in theaters. But the corporate has primarily launched its unique content material straight on the Prime Video service.

While a $1 billion annual funding for movie improvement is on the decrease finish of what main Hollywood studios spend annually, its a constructive signal for the movie show enterprise, which has struggled within the wake of the pandemic.

Audiences have returned to cinemas, however as a result of the manufacturing pipeline was stalled in 2020 and 2021, fewer films have been launched in cinemas in 2022. Blockbuster movies proceed to drive vital, typically file breaking, home field workplace numbers, however and not using a regular slate of recent content material, the general trade stays considerably beneath prepandemic ranges.

There has been about one-third fewer large releases — movies that debut in additional than 2,000 theaters — and that has meant that the general field workplace is down about one-third as effectively in contrast to 2019.

"We certainly applaud content makers when they decide to spend on quality movies," mentioned Jeffrey Kaufman, chief content material officer and senior vice chairman of movie and advertising at Malco Theatres. "But to date, no streaming company has committed to a robust theatrical distribution model, including Amazon. We would love if any streamer would support the theatrical space with wide quality releases."

Already, 2023 is predicted to be a stronger yr on the home field workplace, as manufacturing ranges returned to regular in 2022, however Amazon's extra movie commitments provides the trade one other confidence enhance.

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