The company’s marketing and distribution team, headed by Bob Berney, now tops out at 40 people, quadruple what it was a year ago. It’s also hired Mark Boxer, an IFC executive best known for his work on Richard Linklater’s Oscar-winning “Boyhood,” as head of theatrical distribution. The company believes that distributing its own films will help with branding as well as cut costs.
One thing that will not change is the emphasis on having films screen in theaters. Amazon believes that showing a move on the big screen gives it a patina of respectability, and the publicity that comes with having its talent do interviews and appear on shows draws attention to the company’s Prime streaming service.
“We found that the customers want quality films, but also films that they’ve heard about and perceive as big events, because they’ve been reviewed in newspapers, screened at festivals and had long-running theatrical engagements,” Berney says.