Amazon Prime Video Forges Pact With Italy’s Leone Film GroupVariety — Nick Vivarelli
The growing distribution-production company originally founded by spaghetti Western master Sergio Leone has output deals for Italy with Lionsgate and DreamWorks and close ties to several U.S. Indies. They are at the EFM in Berlin as a buyer.
Leone last year scored at the Italian box office with Julia Roberts-starrer “Wonder” and Steven Spielberg’s “The Post,” among other Hollywood titles. It also did well with Italian director Gabriele Muccino’s dramedy “There Is No Place Like Home,” which Leone also produced and was among Italy’s top homegrown grossers in 2018.
Amazon Prime Video has been stepping up its activity lately in Italy, where Netflix has a larger footprint, having produced several Italian original shows. Amazon has yet to announce its first Italian original but is expected to do so soon.
Leone’s pact with Amazon will add value to its library and give the company, which is listed on Milan’s stock exchange, more muscle to buy high-end movie content. The value of the multi-million dollar deal was not disclosed.
Leone president Andrea Leone in a statement said that he was proud of partnering with Amazon at a time when the value of the pay-TV window is “rapidly changing.” “Their mission, like ours, is to deliver the best content,” he said.
Leone announced in 2016 that it was branching out into high-end television for the international market with the still-in-development “I Beati Paoli,” a Mafia origins show conceived by screenwriter-director Giuseppe Tornatore. The company is expected soon to make more concrete announcements about its TV content ambitions.