Late Night: Mindy Kaling’s Comedy–Commercial Flop?

This year Amazon Studios’ Fleabag and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel earned several top honors at the Emmys.

Studio head Jennifer Salke outlined the streaming service’s movie strategy, and defended the box-office performance of Mindy Kaling’s Late Night.

Speaking at the Paley Center for Media, the Amazon Studios chief countered the opinion that Late Night was a bust. The film, starring Kaling and Emma Thompson, brought in less than $16 million at the box office, but Salke said that it performed well by Amazon’s standards.

“On the night ‘Late Night’ was released on Amazon Prime, Mindy Kaling called me and said, ‘Oh my God, I have more social action on this Prime launch than I did when the movie was launched,’ Salke said.

She notd that the film had a “very generous” marketing campaign.

Within two weeks of being on Prime, Late Night had been watched “by more people than any movie in the U.S.,” she said, without offering specific viewership numbers.

The company doesn’t evaluate its movie performance based on theatrical tickets sold.  Salke said. “We don’t pretend to think we would suddenly have 30 million people watching our movie in a theater.”