Amazon May Expand Media Efforts With Landmark Purchase

Amazon is reportedly among those vying to acquire Landmark Theatres, the country’s largest chain focused on indie and foreign movies. Landmark is part of the Wagner/Cuban entertainment holdings, backed by film producer Todd Wagner and billionaire investor Mark Cuban. According to insiders, Landmark’s owners have been working with financial services firm Stephens Inc. on a possible sale. The move would introduce Amazon to the brick-and-mortar cinema industry, while complementing the e-commerce giant’s media expansion of interests such as Prime Video, Prime Music and Amazon Studios.

“Amazon said it would spend $4.5 billion this year on programming, which is regularly watched by about half of its 100 million Amazon Prime subscribers,” reports Forbes.

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With Landmark Theatres, Amazon would get a chain “with more than 50 theaters in 27 markets,” notes Bloomberg. “Landmark’s theaters are known for art-house fare, and some high-end locations include coffee bars or lounges, setting them apart from the typical movie experience.”

“This is probably a move to get broader distribution of film content,” said RBC Capital analyst Leo Kulp. “Netflix had been discussed as a potential buyer of Landmark for a similar reason.”

While the government has barred movie studios from the theater business and ruled vertical integration illegal, it recently suggested that it could overturn the 70-year-old Paramount Decision. “It will be interesting to see if Amazon could be the first to test the new rules,” said Imperial Capital analyst David Miller.