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Both Amazon and Netflix have been making spectacular in-roads when it comes to the production of their own motion pictures. Though in the case of Amazon Studios, the company gas stuck with theatrical distribution, with the help of partners. But starting with Woody Allen's Wonder Wheel, the retailer/film company is going to do something it has never done before: distribute its own motion picture.
Per a brand new announcement, Amazon Studios has not only produced Allen's latest film, but the company will also put the money into releasing the film to the public. It's not clear how wide of a run Wonder Wheel will have in terms of its theatrical debut, but whatever it may be it's the retail magnate turned content provider that's going to be rolling the film out. On the surface, this is pretty big news. But when you really think about the implications of Amazon becoming a full-fledged movie distrubutor, there's another financial consideration the company will more than likely have to foot the bill for when it comes to making a project of this prestige, on beyond simple marketing.
Seeing as Amazon Studios will now make its own calls when it comes to both production and theatrical distribution of Wonder Wheel, that more than likely means that the company will be pouring its own money into the film's seemingly-inevitable awards season campaign. With Kate Winslet in the lead, and Woody Allen writing/directing the film, there's already some firepower packed for the upcoming race. It wouldn't be a surprise if Justin Timberlake sweetens the pot a little more when it comes to the film's awards chances, either.
Written and directed by Woody Allen, Wonder Wheel is set in 1950s Coney Island, and is set around the lives of a carousel operator (Jim Belushi) and his wife (Kate Winslet), who are visited by their daughter (Juno Temple) following a long estrangement. Justin Timberlake is apparently both the narrator and a character in the story, observing the family's activities as a local lifeguard.
Variety's report on this new strategy suggests a bold new phase in Amazon's movie-making future. Should Wonder Wheel pan out to be the success that the studio hopes it will be, there's a chance that the company will decide to move more of its films into theaters holding the same kind of sway. In time, Amazon might just find themselves operating as a distribution house that is consistently producing content for both the silver screen and for streaming.
We'll ultimately see the might of Wonder Wheel when the film rolls into theaters on December 1st.