Amazon Studios currently lists 14 movie projects in development, which it has procured through its over-the-transom script-submission process. But the company said those won’t be among the titles it releases as part of its new initiative for theatrical-first distribution.
On Monday Amazon announced that it would produce or acquire up to 12 movies per year, to be released in theaters four to eight weeks before becoming available on Prime Instant Video.
The company has hired producer Ted Hope to run the group and expects budgets to be in the range of $5 million-$25 million. It hasn’t specified genres it’s pursuing at this point except to say the movies “will focus on unique stories, voices and characters from top and up-and-coming creators.”
The new titles are anticipated as coming through a traditional studio development process, not via Amazon Studios’ script-submission program. In a statement, Amazon Studios VP Roy Price said, “We still have an open door for TV and movie scripts at Studios.amazon.com. We are very happy to have that source of ideas. As in TV, though, we do not expect that most of the movies in the Amazon Original Movies program will come from that source.”
Price added, “We are still developing some movies as part of that program that would not fit into the Amazon Original Movies program announced today.”
Films listed on Amazon’s slate include “Touching Blue,” a thriller from producer Denise Di Novi (“Crazy, Stupid, Love,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas”), about a teenage girl with psychic powers who must stop a mysterious killer.
The e-commerce giant launched Amazon Studios in 2010, touting its approach as “a new way to develop feature films and episodic series” — open to proposals from filmmakers and creators anywhere in the world. Under the program, anyone can upload a script online; Amazon Studios says it reviews all submissions but does not guarantee that it will necessarily greenlight them.