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Amazon Reassures Exhibitors: All Films to Get Theatrical Release, ‘Aggressive’ Marketing

CinemaCon 2016: Marketing and distribution chief Bob Berney promises that studio will deliver its releases in theaters

Amazon Studios has reassured movie exhibitors that all of the upstart distributor’s forthcoming films will be released in theaters.

“All films will be released theatrically, with an aggressive marketing campaign to bring audiences to your theaters,” Amazon Studios Marketing and Distribution Chief Bob Berney said at CinemaCon 2016.

The studio made the remarks at a luncheon set to unveil Amazon’s distribution strategy and upcoming slate, including its five films that were accepted on Thursday morning into next month’s Cannes Film Festival.

“Theatrical runs position a movie as a real movie in customers’ eyes,” Amazon Studios head Roy Price added from the stage. “Our goals are aligned with exhibition.”

The e-commerce giant bought six films at Sundance this year, raising questions over how it intends to work with theatrical partners and shape their own exclusive streaming window.

Berney announced a Nov. 18 release date for one of its Sundance acquisitions, Kenneth Lonergan’s widely praised “Manchester by the Sea.” It will be released in conjunction with Open Road Films.

Amazon Studios’ 2016 slate also includes Rachel Weisz and Michael Shannon‘s “Complete Unknown,” moving ALS doc “Gleason,” Whit Stillman‘s “Love & Friendship,” Todd Solondz’s “Wiener Dog” and Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Neon Demon.”

Refn appeared at the luncheon via Skype from his kitchen in Copenhagen, while his young star Elle Fanning popped up on stage in a glittery silver dress to offer her praise for the director and reveal that Refn and his cast helped devised a new unscripted ending for the film during the final days of the shoot.