Amazon looks set to launch a bold movie strategy, its Studios head Jennifer Salke has revealed: more original titles and more straight-to-service ones too.

Salke told The Hollywood Reporter Amazon is planning to release as many as 30 original movies a year ranging between blockbusters, art house and some films that will skip movie theatres all together and go straight to Prime Video.

Netflix has high hopes for its original movie Roma to become the first movie primarily distributed online to land a major Oscar – and that could shake up the industry. If the film is successful, as many believe it will be, some observers say the knock for the big multiplexes could be huge, with major studios and movie makers drawn to online streaming services and away from traditional distribution methods.

But Salke says straight-to-service will be just one approach for Amazon. 

Even so, the Amazon strategy does mark a departure from its previous approach of full releases for movies in cinemas before streaming them online. And those titles that do reach the big screen in the future may well stay for much less time.

Salke tells the Hollywood Reporter Amazon is looking at a number of windows.

“In some cases, it'll be important for us to get the movie quickly to the service, while still following through with a theatrical release that feels much shorter, two weeks even, two to eight weeks. And then in other cases, we'll allow, where it makes sense, a wider-release strategy,” she said.

Netflix offered Roma to the big cinema chains for a mere three-week window. The result was many chains refused to show it, and the movie reached just 250 theatres around the US.

Asked if Roma wins the Oscar for best picture, that will mean a theatrical release will be less important than it used to be “in the awards conversation”, Salke makes it clear she wants a variety of approaches, but would seek to avoid getting “all the theatres up in arms”, and that Amazon would “still want to be able to really support a theatrical release”.

However, there could be 20 direct-to-service movies produced a year, she revealed, including some through a project involving Nicole Kidman to make a “slate of sexy, date-night movies that no one’s making anymore …those kind of, ‘I need to stay at home and just drink wine with my girlfriend, or my boyfriend, husband, and watch this’."

The overarching strategy was clear. Salke said, “It's basically, how are you enhancing Prime membership, and how are you bringing new subscribers to Prime?”

Sourced from the Hollywood Reporter