Prime Video Adds Movie After Box Office Release: How Long?

Here’s how long it takes before Amazon Prime Video adds a movie after its box office release:

This will vary wildly depending on many different factors. 

In general, a movie will come to Prime Video after it loses popularity at the box office, and that typically takes anywhere from 1 to 12 months. 

That said, competition can snag exclusive rights that keep a movie from coming to Prime Video indefinitely.

So if you want to learn all about how long it takes before Prime Video adds a movie, then you’re in the right place.

Let’s get started!

Prime Video Adds Movie After Box Office Release: How Long?

How Long Does It Take Before Amazon Prime Video Adds a Movie After Its Box Office Release? (3 Things)

Smiling black woman watching video on computer, drinking coffee

We can look at the numbers and try to set a general average for how long it takes a movie to hit Prime Video.

Doing that, the time would be close to one month after release. 

Clearly, that number can change a lot depending on circumstances, so let’s dive into the major factors that control this duration.

#1 Movie’s Popularity

Happy friends enjoying a movie night and eating popcorn

One of the primary factors in how long it takes for a movie to get to Prime Video is the movie’s popularity.

Big movies make money at the theaters for a longer time than less popular movies.

So, popular movies don’t show up on Prime Video as quickly.

Movies that slip under the radar can be on Prime before they are even pulled from the theater.

It’s all about allowing the studios to maximize their profit models, and selling individual tickets to a popular movie makes more money than licensing that same movie to a streaming service, like Prime Video.

Even when a movie is immensely popular, it usually falls off after a couple of months.

So, excluding other licensing agreements (which we’ll go over in a bit), most movies will make it to Prime Video in 12 months or less.

There is one other thing to consider with a popular movie, though.

If the studio thinks that they can make good money from selling and renting the movie for a bit, they’ll hold off on releasing the movie to streaming services a little longer. 

So, some movies don’t make it to streaming within 12 months of the original release, but that is uncommon.

#2 A Changing Landscape

Man choosing movie for streaming with a tablet.

As much as everything in the previous section is still true, it overlooks how much the ideas of streaming and releasing movies have evolved in recent years. 

Studios and publishers have started adapting their release models.

Streaming is more reliable and popular than ever, and it turns out to be an extremely cost-effective way for movie producer to get their content out into the world. 

Digital home release costs movie studios a lot less money than distributing a movie to every single theater in the world.

So, there’s room to make a lot of money.

That’s why you’re seeing new release experiments.

A lot of new movies are simultaneously released on streaming services and at the box office.

This is a lot more common with HBO and Disney+ (especially when production/release schedules are altered by extenuating circumstances), and the studios have seen mixed levels of success. 

Some movies have done remarkably well under this model.

Others have underperformed, so it’s hard to say what this will look like in a few years.

One thing you can expect is that the experiments will continue, so you might be seeing movies on Prime Video right when they hit the theaters.

#3 Competing Agreements

Relaxed woman with headphones watching a video.

All of that said, the biggest competition for Prime Video to stream movies isn’t the movie theater industry; it’s other streaming services.

HBO, Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+ are just a handful of major names in this business, and they all directly compete with Prime Video.

The different platforms are constantly battling each other for licensing rights to stream popular content.

If another platform snags exclusivity for a movie, it can be years before you’ll see it on Prime Video.

It might also only be months.

To really understand how competitive this market is, consider Disney+.

This is a streaming service designed specifically to stream content owned by Disney. 

Since Disney owns a lot of movie studios, they have a lot of content available to their streaming service.

Even though they own the content, they still struggle to land licensing rights to stream their own stuff. 

A lot of it is tied to pre-existing licensing agreements, so they have to wait for content to run its course on those contracts before it can move to Disney+ (Marvel TV shows like Daredevil on Netflix are a good example).

This leads to an important point.

If a streaming service owns the copyright to the movie (and a previous licensing agreement isn’t in the way), you can expect that movie to only ever be available on one service. 

The copyright owner can license to other platforms if they want to, but these companies tend to compete heavily for exclusive access.

So, there are movies that will never come to Prime Video.

Why Do Some Videos Have Individual Pricing?

Multimedia streaming concept with remote control.

Here’s where things get a little more convoluted.

There are movies that will never come to Prime Video, but you can still purchase or rent them on Amazon video.

Let’s clarify that statement.

Technically, they are on Prime Video, but you have to pay to buy or rent the movie.

You can’t watch it for free with your Prime membership.

This sets Prime Video apart from most other streaming services.

It’s because this aspect of Prime Video is not really competing with Netflix and the other streaming services.

Instead, it exists as a different distribution method, and most studios like to have resources for selling and renting their movies. 

In this respect, Amazon is competing more with publishers like Apple, Google Play, or Vudu.

As this type of distributor, Amazon is a longstanding provider, and they are one of the best places for studios to sell their content.

It gets a little complicated in the details, but these two forms of distribution operate on different licensing agreements.

So, Prime Video can sell or rent content that it cannot stream as part of a subscription service.

This gives Prime Video more total content than most competitors as a result.

When it comes to purchasing or renting movies, you can expect them to hit Prime Video faster than the content included in your streaming subscription.

How Long Before a Show Gets Added to Amazon Prime Video After It Airs?

Woman uninterested looking at the television.

Similar, but also different, is when Amazon Prime Video adds shows after they air.

There’s no simple or short answer to this. 

Whether Amazon can stream a show on Prime Video depends entirely on contracts with the copyright owner, and those contracts come in all shapes and sizes. 

You can watch a show today, or years from now, or never if another site gets exclusive rights.

Learn all about how long it takes for a show to be added to Amazon Prime Video after it airs here.

How Long Does It Take Before Pay Titles Are Free on Amazon Prime Video?

A happy woman watching and enjoying videos on tablet at her cozy home.

Have you ever wondered how long it takes before a paid title becomes free on Amazon Prime Video?

This depends on so many factors, including the popularity of the content, the studio that produced it, and the many legally binding agreements that dictate publication rights. 

The answer depends on many factors, including the popularity of the content, the studio that produced it, and the legal agreements dictating publication rights. 

After about a month, you can look for titles to move to the free category on Prime Video.

Learn all about when pay titles become free on Amazon Prime Video here.


  • Theresa McDonough

    Tech entrepreneur and founder of Tech Medic, who has become a prominent advocate for the Right to Repair movement. She has testified before the US Federal Trade Commission and been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, helping influence change within the tech industry.

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