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Amazon plans to release 12 movies a year in theaters and on Prime

Matt Brian, @m4tt

In recent years, Amazon and Netflix have created original content to get more subscribers, grow revenues and set themselves apart from not only from each other, but major cable channels like HBO. Examples include House of Cards, Orange Is The New Black and Transparent. Amazon has always suggested it may look to expand beyond TV and into movies, but only now has it revealed its plan to do exactly that. In a release today, Amazon Studios said it will 'begin to produce and acquire original movies for theatrical release and early window distribution on Amazon Prime Instant Video."

What does this mean? Well, like Netflix, which is currently working with Yuen Wo-ping on a sequel to Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Amazon will finance its own or acquire rights to movies that will appeal to stay-at-home film lovers and moviegoers alike. However, unlike its rival, Amazon's Original Movies will hit theaters first and then reach Prime Instant Video (in the US to begin with) between four and eight weeks later. Think what Sony did with The Interview, but completely planned and not the result of a crushing hack.

"We look forward to expanding our production efforts into feature films. Our goal is to create close to twelve movies a year with production starting later this year," says Roy Price, Vice President of Amazon Studios. "We hope this program will also benefit filmmakers, who too often struggle to mount fresh and daring stories that deserve an audience." That might mean that you'll also form a part in the decision process over which movies make the cut -- after all, Amazon already solicits opinion on its TV pilots.

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