Amazon has already proven itself to be a legitimate force in the movie industry by winning three Academy Awards this past February. Now the tech giant is poised to become an even bigger player as it moves to self-distribute of its own movies.
Variety reports that Amazon Studios is going to release Woody’s Allen’s next film, “Wonder Wheel,” without relying on a distribution partner like it has in the past.
Amazon won Oscars for “Manchester by the Sea” and “The Salesman” last year, and since it got into the business of buying and producing films it has relied on independent studios to bring the films to theaters. The films are then eventually offered on the company’s Prime Video digital platform.
Bob Berney, head of marketing and distribution for Amazon, will oversee the company’s theatrical rollouts and the company will be adding staff, according to Variety.
“Wonder Wheel,” set in 1950s Coney Island, stars Justin Timberlake, Jim Belushi, Kate Winslet and Juno Temple. The premiere of the film will serve as the closing night movie at the 55th New York Film Festival at Alice Tully Hall on Oct. 14.
— Amazon Studios (@AmazonStudios) July 27, 2017
During a Facebook Live interview in May, Allen ripped traditional Hollywood studios.
“When I make a film, I like the people backing the film, sometimes the studios, to put the money in a brown paper bag and then go away,” the longtime director said. “And then six months later I give them film. That’s the way I’ve always been able to work, having complete control of every aspect of the film.”
But as far as working with Amazon goes, Allen said the company’s riches change the dynamic.
“Amazon is a perfect example of a company that’s so successful that someone like me is peanuts and chump change,” Allen said. “These guys make billions. … So they can reach in their pocket and say, ‘Give it to him and shut him up,’ and I make my film, and if it makes a few dollars you don’t even notice it on an Amazon ledger. And if it loses a few bucks they couldn’t care less.”
Amazon will release “Wonder Wheel” in theaters on Dec. 1, Deadline reports.