Report: Mini-major inks movie-streaming deal

Miramax has become the latest company to make its films available on Facebook, launching the largest movie-streaming venture yet on the social media site.

Following hot on the heels of Warner Bros., Paramount and Universal, “The Miramax Experience” has made 20 titles available for rent in the U.S. and 10 each in Blighty and Turkey.

Titles available in all three countries include “Good Will Hunting,” “Cold Mountain,” “Spy Kids” and “Chicago,” while “No Country for Old Men” will be limited to U.S. release on the site.

Facebook users can rent Miramax titles for 30 Facebook credits, which is equivalent to $3, and watch on Facebook, the iPad and Google TV. The rental is active for 30 days and will expire 48 hours after viewing has commenced.

Earlier this year, Miramax reached a deal with Lionsgate and StudioCanal for worldwide distribution rights to more than 550 library titles. As StudioCanal operates in the U.K., France and Germany, the Facebook app also is likely to bow in Gaul and Germany.

Monday’s move is a further sign that Miramax is ramping up its activity on digital platforms and embracing digital distribution.

In May, the company signed a multiyear nonexclusive distribution deal with Netflix for titles including “The English Patient,” “Shakespeare in Love,” “Clerks,” “Pulp Fiction” and many of the “Halloween,” “Scary Movie” and “Scream” titles. In June, Miramax inked a multiyear deal with Hulu to offer users access to select titles on multiple platforms through the subscription-based Hulu Plus service. As part of the agreement, Hulu also agreed to show 15 Miramax pics per month through the ad-supported Hulu site, marking the first time that Miramax titles became available through an ad-based streaming service.

“We always wanted to try to do something with Facebook,” Miramax CEO Mike Lang told Variety, adding that the two companies had been working on an agreement for a couple of months. “We reached out to our friends there and asked them what it is we could do differently to really help try to drive the application.”

Last week, U offered “The Big Lebowski” for rental via Facebook, coinciding with the pic’s debut on Blu-ray, while Warner Bros. and Par began releasing pics on the social media site in March.

WB began experimenting with rentals via the site with “The Dark Knight” before expanding its offerings with pics including “Inception,” “Life as We Know It,” “Yogi Bear,” “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” and “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.”

Par started renting the “Jackass” franchise through the “Jackass” fanpage on Facebook in July.

Lang said the Facebook move helps fulfill Miramax’s mission. “It was really an (important) effort to try to find something that not only was similar to what other people tried but try to go to the next level,” he said.

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