Amazon Studios’ “The Report,” a political thriller starring Adam Driver and Annette Bening, will have a two-week exclusive run in theaters starting Sept. 27 before landing on Amazon Prime Video on Oct. 11.
Amazon intends to continue rolling out the film in theaters even after it’s available to stream online as the studio continues to test the waters with various release strategies. The condensed window is surprising given that Amazon Studios is the only digital player that has displayed zero qualms about giving North American movie theater owners a full 90-day exclusive for films before releasing them on their own streaming service. What’s more, “The Report” is perhaps the most commercially viable film Amazon bought on their Sundance shopping spree this year, thanks to its dramatic true story and Oscars potential.
Written and directed by Scott Z Burns, “The Report” chronicles a Senate staffer who investigates the CIA’s methods of torture, from water-boarding to sleep and sensory deprivation. “The Report” generated awards chatter following an enthusiastic reception at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, something Amazon hopes to capitalize on with its late September release. Amazon bought global distribution rights at Sundance for $14 million.
The release strategy will inevitably draw comparisons to the rollout for “Roma,” a process that Amazon’s rival Netflix practically drew blood over in their continued feud with theater owners over Netflix’s desire to make its original movies available to stream the same day they hit theaters.
In his Variety review, chief film critic Owen Glieberman praised “The Report,” calling it “a large-scale saga of corruption, justice, and overwhelming relevance that’s at once gripping and eye-opening, even if you’re the sort of news junkie who thinks they already know the story.”
“‘The Report’ is an enthralling, investigative thriller featuring pitch perfect performances and brilliant storytelling from Scott and the entire team,” said Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios. “We are so proud to share this uniquely authentic and incredibly timely story about a true, American hero and his quest for truth and justice with our global Prime Video customers.”
Steven Soderbergh, Jennifer Fox, Burns, Danny Gabai of Vice Studios, Eddy Moretti and Michael Sugar produced “The Report,” while Nancy Dubuc, Shane Smith and Natalie Farrey of Vice Studios, Lila Yacoub, Michael DiVerdi, Vincent Landay and TJ Rinomato served as executive producers.
“The Report” will open against STX Entertainment’s drama “21 Bridges” with Chadwick Boseman, Universal’s animated adventure “Abominable” and the thriller “The Hunt.”
Amazon’s upcoming slate includes Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang’s “One Child Nation,” Paul Downs Colaizzo’s comedy “Brittany Runs a Marathon” and Alma Har’el’s “Honeyboy,” a drama based on Shia LaBeouf’s childhood.