It appears that Amazon are looking to make moves in to theatrical distribution. Bloomberg have reported that the e-commerce site have put themselves in to the running to purchase Landmark Theatres. Landmark Theatres claim to be the US leading chain that focuses on indie and foreign films and has a network of 56 cinemas , containing 268 screens.
The report states that Amazon is going up against other potential buyers but no final decision has been made as yet.
It is interesting to think where this fits in to the bigger picture, although neither Landmark or Amazon are willing to discuss the news at this point.
Amazon is the place to go to buy literally anything you can imagine from toiletries, books, groceries, clothes, electronics, movies, music and even cloud storage space for any games or apps that you may own. Through this marketplace model, Amazon is attempting (and seems to successfully be doing this) to be wherever customers want to spend their money.
However, there are certain things that do not transfer over to the digital world very well. This being any more of dining out, going to a music concert or event, picking fruit that you want to look at before you pay for it to make sure that it is of good quality and fresh and , of course – going to the cinema to see a film. The latter actually requires you to get up, go out and visit your local theatre. However, recent purchases from Amazon shows that they know this, with purchases of book stores, check out free food stores and a $13.7 billion dollar purchase of Whole Foods.
When it comes to Amazon owning a selection of theatres, this really does give a varied number of opportunities for future expansion in film. With audiences tending to continue to move towards the cheaper alternative of the smaller screen and comfort of their own home, the cinema world is experiencing well documented tough times. However, if Amazon was to run a loss-making chain of theatres, then it would be but a small drop in the large ocean for it. Further to this, the company has one of the largest digital subscription services with more than 100 million Prime members. Just – what if – cinema subscription was added on to this as a ‘free’ entry or a discount?!
Not only this, but Amazon has an original content studio (‘Amazon Studios’) which is responsible for shows like Manchester by the Sea and Transparent. The theatre chain acquisition would indeed increase the distribution channels open for Amazon’s own films and also give them a hold on distribution. This would therefore give Amazon more negotiating power for film rights to films that it hasn’t created, as its position would include theatrical, DVD and digital distribution.
Just think – with Amazon running a theatre and, with large amounts of money being made on concessions, they could also incorporate their recent purchase of Whole Foods in to the mix. It would really create an interesting place that is new to try out – whether you have come to do shopping or to see a film.
What are the chances of this happening? Well, following this news – the stocks at Landmark Theatres dropped .
What are your thoughts?
This post was written by noxford