Amazon Cinema has arrived at the perfect time. With most of us now stuck at home the movie business has started releasing some movies planned for theater release directly to consumers. Amazon’s Prime Video Cinema is designed to bring those movies directly to Prime members, sans the theater.
Note: this post was updated on 3/24/20 with 3 additional new movies available.
In some cases, movie companies are rushing to release newer movies in digital format. These movies were supposed to be released in a traditional theater, but are now being released directly to consumers. Digital platforms like as Amazon Cinema, Apple’s iTunes, Sony’s PlayStation network and outlets for these movies. The world of cinema may have just changed for good…only time will tell.
Here’s what we know so far about Amazon Prime Cinema.
Amazon’s Prime Video Cinema is a new feature for Amazon Prime members that shows new movies (movies that would have normally been shown in a theater, or still are in theaters) directly to consumers via the Prime Video platform.
This new option is perfectly timed in light of the fact that most of America is staying at home these days. When you’ve finished binge watching all your Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus and traditional Prime Video shows you can snag a new release movie directly from Amazon Cinema.
Far as we can tell the Prime Cinema option works across most Amazon Platforms including web, Android and Apple. We did not see it showing up on our Roku system or on our Samsung TV (which has an embedded Prime Video app).
In Theater Purchase Amazon Home Cinema vs. In Theater Rental Amazon Prime Cinema
When browsing Amazon Cinema it appears there are two purchase options available to consumers. One:
- In Theater Purchase
- In Theater Rental
However, as best we can tell there is not distinguishable difference in price. We suspect, however, these options are intended to provide an option for a consumer to permanently buy a movie that’s “in theaters” or simply rent one.
What movies are on Amazon Cinema right now?
This list will obviously change over time, but as of today there are 7 movies available on Amazon Cinema right now:
Vin Diesels stars in this comic book thriller about a Marine who’s brought back to life to unleash some holy hell.
Harley Quinn gets her own movie and it’s apparently somewhat forgettable. That said, Margot Robbie’s turn as Harley has been pretty wicked. Could be interesting!
A light-hearted kids movie about cartoon elves trying to find their dad. Stars Chris Pratt (who’s always funny). I am sure this movie will be popular with the kids. I suspect Pixar was hoping for another gangbusters box office, but the events we are facing in the world today have definitely dented those plans. I still think this movie holds up though.
Ben Affleck’s The Way Back promises a grittier Hoosiers with Affleck in the ironic role as alcoholic and basketball coach.
Rich people hunt the less fortunate. A well traveled trope (anyone remember the 1994 “classic” Surviving the Game starring Ice-T???), but does have Hillary Swank, who’s always interesting. Can’t say I am a big fan of this sort of story, but in a pinch, from a hotel bed when I have a bad case of insomnia and the movie’s so old it’s on TBS, I may watch ’em.
Sci-fi thriller about domestic abuse and science fiction. Stars the amazing Elizabeth Moss (of Mad Men and Handmaids Tale fame) and has received stellar reviews. Some are suggesting her performance may be Oscar worthy. Also looks terrifying!
Jane Austen fans rejoice you have yet another movie to complain about not being like the book. I can tell you one thing: my sister and mother will be renting this movie (probably already have). Not my cup of tea, that’s for sure, but clearly Jane Austen movies typically do well.
FAQ about Amazon Prime Video Cinema
Here are some frequently asked questions about Amazon’s new home theater service, Amazon Cinema. As we learn more about this offering we will continue to build this out:
What is Amazon Cinema?
Amazon Cinema is a new feature for Amazon Prime Members that brings movies still currently in theaters directly to consumers. To watch, you must be an Amazon Prime member.
Does Amazon Cinema Cost Anything?
Yes and no. To use Amazon Cinema you must be an Amazon Prime member. Joining Amazon Prime costs around $119.00 a year. Chances are, however, you are already a member. To actually watch a movie on Amazon Cinema, however, you will have to pay an extra fee which appears to be around $20 right now.
How much do movies cost on Amazon Cinema?
$19.99 appears to be the price they are presently charging.
Do I have to do anything to add Amazon Cinema to my Prime Account?
No. As long as your Amazon Prime membership is active you will get access to Amazon Cinema when you visit the Amazon Prime Video section.
Can I use Amazon No Rush Digital Credits on Amazon Prime Cinema?
Yes, No Rush Digital Credits can be used on Amazon Cinema. Deal alert: if you are like me, you order a TON of stuff from Amazon. I’ve started racking up Digital Credits and until now have used them sparingly on books, etc. However, now I intend to use them to sweeten the price of a new release movie on Amazon Prime Cinema.
How do I sign up for Amazon Prime?
Amazon Prime memberships typically cost $119.00 per year, but are generally worth every penny.
Is Amazon Prime Cinema a good deal and should I watch it?
It’s still early, but let’s do the math. If you were to take a family of 4 out to watch a movie in the theater using the average movie ticket price of $9.26, you’d be sitting at $37.04, plus food, gas, etc.
Immediately you can see that $19.99 is a pretty good deal.
Will I watch anything on Amazon Prime Cinema? Yes, probably, over time anyway. None of the movies currently available interest me and I have a long history of not needing to see new movies right away…meaning I am generally ok waiting until they hit rental prices ($4.99 or so) or even until them become free. There’s a few exceptions, of course, but my theater days are long gone.
Looking to stay busy right now? Here’s some ideas
Thanks & Be Safe
Be safe out there, readers! We are definitely in some weird times right now, but I suspect we will all pull through. In the meantime, enjoy Amazon Home Cinema and social distance the heck out of yourself for a while, ok!?
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