Netflix Offers More Options to Film Lovers

The leading Internet movie subscription service Netflix and multi-faceted company FilmDistrict have signed a multi-year agreement through which first-run, theatrically-released films distributed by FilmDistrict will be licensed to Netflix.

The films will be streamed over the Internet in the “pay TV window” a few months after the films’ release on DVD, Netflix said Wednesday, Dec. 1.

Under the deal, major motion pictures that traditionally would have been licensed to premium cable channels will flow instead from FilmDistrict to Netflix for streaming to its members, beginning in 2011.

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Among the first films to be covered under the deal are “Drive,” director Nicolas Winding Refn’s adaptation of the James Sallis’ crime tale starring the Academy Award-nominated duo Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan.

And the sci-fi action adventure film “Lockout,” starring Guy Pearce and Maggie Grace, produced and co-written by Luc Besson, and co-directed by James Mather and Stephen St. Leger. 

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Broadening the variety and timeliness of content available for Netflix members to watch instantly is among the company’s highest priorities as it rapidly transforms itself into a service focused on streaming movies and TV shows over the Internet.

Recently, Netflix introduced a $7.99 streaming-only subscription plan in the United States.

With its members now watching more content streamed over the Internet than on discs delivered by mail, Netflix has decided to take the Internet route to deliver movies and TV shows.

The plan, which allows members to instantly watch unlimited movies and TV episodes streamed from Netflix to TVs and computers, is available now to both new and existing members. (Read: Netflix Goes to the Net to Deliver Flicks)

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A few days ago, Netflix rival Hulu also launched Hulu Plus, which is claimed to be the first and only Internet video subscription service to stream full current seasons and a deep library of back seasons of hit TV shows from ABC, FOX, NBC, and more.

The service is being offered in HD, to computers, internet-connected TVs and Blu-ray players, set-top boxes, mobile phones, and tablets, for $7.99 per month. (Read: Hulu Plus Service Comes for $7.99 per Month)

FilmDistrict was created earlier this year by Oscar-winning producer Graham King and his business partners Tim Headington and Peter Schlessel, who became FilmDistrict’s CEO.

Recently, film industry veterans Bob Berney and Adrian Alperovich joined FilmDistrict as president of film distribution and president of acquisitions and operations, respectively.

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Rakesh Raman