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Amazon Studios is cutting back on its indie film development

(Photo: Photo: Amazon/Lionsgate)

The ongoing shake-up at Amazon Studios—which has its roots in both the recent, sexual harassment-related resignation of studio head Roy Price, and in Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ recent call for bigger, more mainstream content—is continuing to claim victims among its more small-scale productions. Yesterday, we reported that the studio’s TV side was cutting a number of shows from its roster, including Tig Notaro’s One Mississippi; now, Reuters is reporting that a similar pullback is happening over in film.

That’s somewhat surprising, given that 2017 was one of the studio’s most critically well-regarded years to date. Fresh off a pair of Oscar wins for 2016's Manchester By The Sea, the studio co-distributed Raoul Peck’s I Am Not Your Negro, James Gray’s The Lost City Of Z, and its biggest hit to date, Kumail Nanjiani’s The Big Sick. (In fact, the Reuters piece specifically cites a few films in the Big Sick low-budget mold that the studio recently passed on, much to the producers’ surprise.) It’s not clear if these $5 million-budget high brow projects are specifically endangered at the company, but the Reuters report does quote insiders who say the current push is apparently for $50 million blockbusters to round out its slate, instead.


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