Amazon’s first theatrical release, Spike Lee‘s drama “Chi-Raq,” will be available for Prime subscribers to stream starting Feb. 4, TheWrap has learned.
That’s just two months after the the e-commerce giant debuted the film in theaters. While that shorter than the typical three-month window that most films enjoy before moving to home-viewing options, it’s less likely to irk theater owners than Netflix’s campaign for originals films to debut online and in theaters on the same day.
Earlier this year, Netflix riled movie-theater chains when it announced plans to release 2016’s sequel to “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” in partnership with the Weinstein Company on Netflix and at IMAX theaters at the same time around the world.
Netflix’s aim is to bust up the so-called windowing system for releasing movies on different platforms, which reserves the availability of films to theaters for months before hitting home viewing via DVD, premium cable and, finally, those all-you-can-eat subscription services like Netflix.
Amazon’s tack is gentler by including a two-month lag between theatrical release and the movie’s availability to stream with no additional charge for members of its $99-a-month Prime subscription, best known for free two-day shipping.
“Chi-Raq” became available to rent and download Tuesday on sites like Amazon and Apple’s iTunes.
The limited rollout of “Chi-Raq” performed solidly during the first weekend as Amazon’s first theatrical release. It took in an estimated $1.2 million from 305 theaters its first weekend, with the total box office doubling in the following weeks.
Roadside Attractions was distributing partner.
For the record: A previous version of this story included an incorrect date for the streaming launch supplied by an Amazon spokesperson.