Amazon, Retail Behemoth, Taking Smaller Steps Into Hollywood

Amazon’s buying blitz broadcast the company’s ambitions to carve out a niche as a destination for prestige films at a time when major studios are focused on big-budget spectacles. In the process, Amazon is upending the independent film space. Along with Netflix, which paid top price last year for “Beasts of No Nation,” and recently bid $20 million but failed to land slave drama “The Birth of a Nation,” Amazon is shelling out the kind of money that would be ruinous for a Sony Pictures Classics or A24. The gap between these giants and smaller, pluckier players will only widen as other tech titans such as Apple and Hulu dive into the original content business. – Brent Lang, Variety