Netflix and Amazon, the leading streaming service providers, were the most active buyers at the Sundance Film Festival. This comes as a surprise as generally traditional studios and distributors are more interested in buying movies at the event.
Amazon spending big
At the film festival, which started late last week and lasts for 11 days, Amazon purchased four films, while Netflix secured three and is eyeing more movies. However, traditional distributors have been much less active, says a report in The New York Times.
Amazon acquired Manchester by the Sea for a hefty amount of $10 million. It is a Kenneth Lonergan drama that stars Casey Affleck as a handyman who deals with family woes. There are good chances that the movie won’t arrive on Prime Video anytime soon as the company has loftier ambitions.
“For every movie that we do, we want as robust a theatrical run as the film will support,” said Amazon Studios head Ray Price.
Amazon also bought the documentary Author: The JT LeRoy Story, Complete Unknown, which stars Rachel Weisz. It also bought the movie Love & Friendship, which is a period piece based on a Jane Austen work.
Netflix waiting for more opportunities
Netflix’s biggest purchase so far is The Fundamentals of Caring for $7 million. The streaming firm secured the global streaming rights to the film starring Paul Rudd, Craig Roberts and Selena Gomez. It paid $5 million to secure Tallulah, which stars Ellen Page and Allison Janney. Netflix also secured Under the Show, a horror movie set in Iran.
“We’re in the market for enjoyable films that have a great creative vision and that we can show to our members in 190 countries,” said Jonathan Friedland, Netflix’s chief communications officer.
As of now, it is not clear how many movies the streaming service providers will buy, but it will be interesting to see how the duo will further impact the film industry.
On Tuesday, Netflix shares closed down 1.3% at $97.83. Year to date, the stock is down by over 14%, while in the last year, it is up by over 56%. Amazon shares closed up 0.79% at $601.25 on Tuesday. Year to date, the stock is down by over 11%, while in the last year, it is up by over 92%.