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Amazon is branching out from making TV shows into film production.

Its cinematic wares will be shown in theatres and then reach its Prime Instant Video streaming service around four to eight weeks later. In the US, at least. There's no word on when us Brits will get them.

Amazon is following in Netflix's footsteps here, much as it did by setting up Amazon Studios to produce its own TV shows.

Before Christmas, Netflix announced it was branching out into films, with its first effort being a sequel to 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon'.

Amazon Original Movies will feature "unique stories, voices and characters" from "top and up-and-coming creators".

Production will start later this year, though as yet there's no word on what the first films will be. Amazon aims to make 12 movies a year.

Four to eight weeks is a lot quicker than the current model, where it takes up to a year for films to trickle down from the cinema to subscription services.

Cinemas are unlikely to be impressed. They already threw their toys out of the pram when Netflix announced it wanted to disrupt the current business model.

But where the technology goes, most of us seem to follow.

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