>> At its founding, Amazon Studios focused on making prestige films that can win awards and attract talent in Hollywood. And it's relatively low budget movies like the the Big Sick or Chi-Raq were big critical successes and its Manchester by the Sea picked up two Oscars. But now in the wake of the departure or Amazon's Studio Chief Roy Price who resigned in October amid sexual misconduct allegation, a source tells Reuters that Amazon is reevaluating its focus on independent films and looking for bigger budget projects.
Reuters Jeffrey Dastin.>> Amazon is a mass market brand, it needs a line up that appeals to audiences all over the world, not just people in LA or New York. They want to drive more people to the theaters, they want to drive more people to go on Amazon.com, stream movies and then buy goods from them as well.
And to do that they need more broader appealing films, films that often cost more money, and that means that some independent film makers will lose out on business from Amazon.>> A source tells Reuters that Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos himself recently said that company is still looking to buy independent films.
But behind the scenes a roll back is in the works.>> You can see this change playing out in the more extreme way on Amazon's television line up. Amazon said last year that it is going to produce a The Lord of the Rings prequel series. And sources tell us that for the rights alone, Amazon offered $250 million.
The movie site is not doing that. They're not making a $200 million Star Wars film or Lord of the Rings film for instance. But they nonetheless are expanding and evolving beyond these small 2 million to $10 million projects to 50 million.>> Analysts estimate Amazon spent $4.5 billion or more on video in 2017, including its hit TV shows like Transparent and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which won top honors this year at the Golden Globes.
And with independent films more and more dependent on streaming services like Amazon or Netflix, an apparent sudden lack of funding has got to hurt.