STREAMING SATURDAY: Amazon, Netflix Spend Big at Sundance

Streaming services Amazon and Netflix spent the most to acquire new films at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

According to an article on Mashable, Amazon and Netflix outspent traditional studios for the rights to movies that debuted at Sundance. This is a big change from 2015, when the two streaming services were outbid by bigger networks. With Amazon and Netflix spending big at Sundance provides a huge benefit to streamers. Those of us looking for new and interesting content will continue to find it on our favorite streaming services in the comfort of our own home.

Amazon showed that it had deep pockets at the annual film festival. Its biggest acquisition was the purchase of Judd Apatow’s The Big Sick for a reported $12 million. The film, one second shy of two hours long, focuses upon a couple dealing with cultural differences. It stars Matty Cardarople, Zoe Kazan, and Holly Hunter. Amazon also purchased Long Strange Trip, a four-hour documentary about The Grateful Dead, for $6 million. The streaming service also snagged Landline, family drama/comedy, for $3 million.

A group of acclaimed documentaries highlights Netflix’s nine Sundance purchases. These films include Berlin SyndromeCasting Jon BenetFun Mom DinnerChasing CoralThe Incredible Jessica JamesJoshua: Teenager vs. SuperpowerIcarus, and To The Bone.

I’ve long been a proponent of streaming and the news from Sundance has renewed my belief in this entertainment option. I hesitate to make any big predictions based upon this recent news, however. Yes, it’s great that two streaming services outbid more traditional networks for a few movies. That said, these big purchases could hurt Amazon and Netflix if the money they spent on these films doesn’t translate to profits and increases in viewership. Still, I continue to see this as a significant win for streaming.

Amazon Prime Video was the big winner at Sundance, and its February lineup seems rather diverse and interesting. Here is Amazon’s releases for this month:

February 1
Care Bears Movie (1985)
Dead Heat
Diamonds Are Forever
Die Another Day
Drop Zone
Escape from Alcatraz
The Firm
Forces of Nature (1999)
Frankie & Johnny (1991)
I Went Down
Into the Wild (2007)
Judgement Day
Kiss The Bride
The Living Daylights
Live and Let Die
Man with the Golden Gun
My King
Never Say Never Again
Nuts! (2016)
Pretty in Pink
Rob Roy
The Running Man
Sabrina (1954)
Sabrina (1995)
The Spy Who Loved Me
Teen Wolf (1985)
Thelma & Louise
Untamed Heart
Wild Bill
The World is Not Enough
You Only Live Twice

February 4
Margin Call
Yellowbird (2014)

February 6
Hostile Border

February 7
Creative Galaxy Heart Day Special, season 2 (Amazon original)

February 10
The Collection, season 1 (Amazon original)

February 15
American Teen
The Americans, season 4

February 16
Author: JT Leroy Story (Amazon original)

February 21
The Tunnel, season 1

February 24
10 Cloverfield Lane
February 26
Touched with Fire

February 27
Captain Fantastic
Havana Motor Club

About the Author

Jake Buckler
Jake Buckler is a cord-cutter, consumer electronics geek, and Celtic folk music fan. Those qualities, and his writing experience, helped him land a copywriting gig at Signal Group, LLC. He also contributes to The Solid Signal Blog.