Amazon is reportedly mulling the purchase of a small cinema chain, in a move that could potentially upend the film industry status quo.
According to a Bloomberg report, the company is ‘in the running’ to buy US chain Landmark Theatres and is currently vying with a number of other potential buyers.
There are more than 50 Landmark Theatres locations in the United States, famed for offering a greater selection of foreign language or independently produced movies, compared with the larger national chains who tend to focus on mainstream studio productions from the US.
Netflix has also been rumoured as a potential suitor for the company, which has locations in major markets like New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Miami.
Related: Netflix vs Amazon Prime
Should Amazon acquire the chain, it could give Amazon Studios an avenue to further push its acclaimed original films. Recent releases like Manchester By The Sea and The Big Sick enjoyed great success in brick-and-mortar theatres before arriving on the Prime Streaming Service.
Should Amazon end up purchasing the company, it could also ensure broader distribution for the feature films it has funded or developed.
The potential deal could be aided by the termination of a 70-year-old rule preventing studios from owning movie theatre chains directly. The so-called “Paramount decree” could soon be overturned.
“It’s very possible that the Paramount decree gets overturned,” Imperial Capital LLC analyst David Miller told Bloomberg. “It will be interesting to see if Amazon could be the first to test the new rules.”
Speaking of Prime, the company could choose to offer special deals to subscribers as an added perk, provided the deal goes ahead. It may also offer discounted, or even free screenings to Prime members. However, this is simply conjecture on our part.
Amazon’s financial clout and innovative spirit could not only shake-up its battle with Netflix, but could also cause movie theatre chains to up their own games.
Last year the company snapped up the grocery chain Whole Foods and is already offering an array of discounts and improved delivery options for Prime Members. According to the report, the acquisition costs for Landmark are likely to be “small” compared to the $13.7 billion Amazon forked over for Whole Foods in 2017.
Do you think it would be good for the film industry if Amazon bought a movie chain? Drop us a line @TrustedReviews on Twitter.