Netflix and Relativity Media have announced a long term agreement through which major theatrically released films owned by Relativity will be licensed directly and exclusively to Netflix for streaming to its subscribers during the “pay TV window.”
Traditionally, says Netflix, these films have flowed through Relativity’s studio releasing partners to output deals with premium TV channels.
The deal marks a continued shift in the distribution of major motion pictures in the U.S. Under the agreement, an increasing amount of popular contemporary movies previously encumbered by pay TV agreements with premium channels such as HBO, Showtime and Starz will become available to be streamed from Netflix months – and not years – after their release on DVD.
It will be the first time that studio quality theatrical feature films will be streamed via subscription by Netflix instead of being broadcast by the traditional pay providers, and it opens up a new revenue stream for such movies, says Netflix.
Among the first wave of films covered under the Netflix-Relativity deal are “The Fighter,” starring Christian Bale, Mark Wahlberg and Amy Adams and distributed by Paramount Pictures, and “Skyline,” co-directed by the Brothers Strause and released by Rogue Pictures and Universal Studios.
Both films are scheduled for theatrical release later this year and to be available at Netflix in early 2011. Also on tap for Netflix are Rogue Pictures’ Nicolas Cage action/thriller “Season of the Witch” and “Movie 43,” written and directed by Peter Farley. Both are set to hit theaters this year as well.
Relativity has financed, co-financed or produced more than 200 features, generating more than $13 billion in worldwide box office revenue. Fifty Relativity films have become “Top 10” box office releases during the past two years.
Current Relativity theatrical releases include “Robin Hood,” “Get Him to the Greek” and “Grown Ups.” Relativity produces and/or finances between 20 and 30 pictures a year, and it has more than 10 “single picture” movies – films it is financing and producing fully – that are scheduled to be released over the next 12 months.
The deal was announced today, July 6.
Photo courtesy: Netflix