Amazon has had a big couple of days of film news. We knew that the new film written and directed by Woody Allen – Café Society – would be the opening night film for this year’s Cannes Film Festival. They announced four of their films will now premiere at Cannes, and also confirmed more details on their release strategy. We now know that Lionsgate will be the theatrical distributor for Café Society in the US, out in wide August.
The Hollywood Reporter has the story.
Amazon are in the film business to sell their Amazon Prime service. They are investing heavily in original content, including many films. But the question of theatrical release remains – theatres are extremely powerful, it is part of the rules to be awards eligible, and the publicity and press a release brings.
Lionsgate has never worked with Allen before. In recent years, they have concentrated on younger audiences with franchises like Twilight (starring Café Society‘s Kristen Stewart of course) and The Hunger Games.
The US release is August 12. It will be Allen’s first wide release in over a decade (since 2003’s Anything Else). Which means unlike his last several films, it won’t just open in New York and LA, garner reviews, and then be released to other cities.
The announcement was made at CineCon, by Amazon Studios head Roy Price. He also showed a short clip from the film – a scene with Jesse Eisenberg and Anna Camp.
Café Society opens Cannes in less than a month. We are bound to find out a lot more by then.