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Amazon to Make Movies for Theaters, Its Own Video Service

Amazon Original Movies will be led by independent producer Ted Hope who co-founded and ran Good Machine, which produced "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and Academy Award-nominated "Eat Drink Man Woman."

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Amazon.com Inc said it would produce movies for the big screen and offer them on its Prime video service within two months of their theatrical release.

Netflix Inc, with which Amazon's video service competes, said in September it would jointly produce a sequel to "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon".

Amazon has been investing heavily in digital media, hoping to draw traffic and drive sales as consumers increasingly spurn traditional TV offerings in favor of on-demand content.

The company has recently pitched Prime as primarily a video service as it looks at the $99-a-year club, known for two-day shipping, a key for growth.

Movies made or bought by Amazon will premiere on Prime in four-eight weeks, instead of a typical 39-52 weeks, Amazon said on Monday.

"Our goal is to create close to twelve movies a year with production starting later this year," Roy Price, vice president of Amazon Studios, said.

The company was not immediately available to comment on how much it was looking to spend on producing the movies.

The company last week said it has roped in renowned filmmaker Woody Allen to write and direct an online series for the small screen.

Recently, Amazon Studios also said four original series would debut in 2015, including one from Steven Soderbergh of "Ocean's Eleven" fame.

Its projects include "Mozart in the Jungle" and the multi-Golden Globe Award-winning "Transparent".