Epix Movies Are Leaving Netflix, Coming to Hulu

The hunger Games Catching Fire

Epix movies also available on Amazon Prime Instant Video

UPDATED: Netflix customers soon will no longer be able to stream high-profile films like the “Hunger Games” movies and “Transformers: Age of Extinction” — while Hulu’s subscribers will be gaining access to them.

Netflix said it won’t renew its deal with Epix in a blog post Sunday by chief content officer Ted Sarandos. The deal will expire at the end of September, removing such hits as “World War Z” and the “Rocky” films from Netflix.

Epix confirmed the end of the relationship later Sunday by officially announcing that it and Hulu closed a multiyear, non-exclusive deal that will start Oct. 1, adding titles from Paramount, MGM and Lionsgate to that platform.

Netflix and Epix broke ground in their 2010 deal, carving out a third-party digital SVOD window for Epix and allowing Netflix to build up steam in its early years. Netflix lost exclusive rights in 2012, and Epix set an agreement with Amazon that year, which was re-upped in February.

“Hulu already offers some of the best and biggest titles in television programming, but our subscribers have been asking us for more, and more recent, big movies. We listened. Through this new deal with Epix, we are proud to now be able to offer a huge selection of the biggest blockbusters and premium films,” Craig Erwich, Hulu’s senior VP and head of content, said in the announcement. “This is a landmark deal for Hulu and it marks a huge expansion for our offering of premium programming.”

“Hulu has become one of the most popular premium streaming services and Epix’s agreement is evidence of their understanding of the value that our blockbuster Hollywood films, deep library of classic film titles and original programming brings to consumers,” said Mark Greenberg, president and CEO of Epix. “We are excited to be partnering with Hulu, and share their commitment to providing viewers a truly premium experience, particularly as we enter the next phase of our network’s growth and development.”

At launch, “Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” “Star Trek: Into Darkness,” “World War Z,” “Wolf of Wall Street,” “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit,” “Robocop,” “God’s Not Dead” and more will become available to Hulu subscribers. “Interstellar,” “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation,” “Selma,” “The Spongebob Movie: Sponge out of Water,” “Top Five” and more will become available on the streaming service in the coming months.

Neither Epix nor Sarandos delved into the specifics of the end of their deal, and it’s often unclear in these situations who walked away from the table.

In the Netflix announcement, Sarandos touted the service’s growing slate of original movies, including Cary Fukunaga’s “Beasts of No Nation,” Adam Sandler’s “Ridiculous Six,” Brad Pitt’s “War Machine” and a Cambodia-based Angelina Jolie movie.

“We hear from our members that you wish we had newer movies,” Sarandos wrote. “So do we. Studio licensing practices means it often takes more than a year before consumers can watch a theatrically released movie when and how they want. Just like we’ve changed the game for TV watchers by releasing entire seasons around the world at the same time, we have begun making movies that will premiere on Netflix globally and in some cases, simultaneously in theaters.”

Sarandos noted that, while many of the movies to be removed are popular with users, they can be found in other places.

“We’ve enjoyed a five year partnership with Epix, but our strategic paths are no longer aligned,” Sarandos said in an official statement. “Our focus has shifted to provide great movies and TV series for our members that are exclusive to Netflix. Epix’s focus is to make sure that their movies will be widely available for consumers through a variety of platforms.”

Netflix reportedly paid Epix $1 billion in licensing fees for the life of the deal. The agreement allowed for Epix titles to hit Netflix 90 days after premiering on the premium cabler — typically eight to 10 months after a film bowed in theaters.

To a degree, the announcement shouldn’t come as too much as a surprise: As Netflix continued to up its original TV and film game, licensing deals started to seem less important.

Netflix still has its deal with Disney in the wings, though, which was inked in 2012 and will launch next year. As part of the deal, Netflix will have exclusive pay-TV rights for Disney films, including movies from properties Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm.

As for Hulu, movies have never been as much a priority for the service as TV shows have, which makes Epix arguably the biggest theatrical deal the streaming service has ever had. The company has already generated significant momentum this year on the licensing front, with multiple output deals from TV partners including FX Networks and AMC.

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  1. James M says:

    I didn’t realize that content “expired” from Netflix until a film that I was in the middle of watching “expired.” I’m trying to get through the last episodes of The Black Donnellys and the minute I’m done, that’s the end of Netflix for me.

  2. Austin says:

    Neflix, as the streaming juggernaut that owns the market, whoever you put in charge of content is handing it over to the other companies on a silver platter…
    the best advice I could ever give you, and if you had any brains at all you will listen to it- fire whoever is in charge of content, and do it now before you have no more business. I mean you really have to be completely stupid to screw up Netflix the way you are, I mean you guys even look at your selection list 90% of it is stuff nobody ever watches or wants to watch… the only reason people watch your original stuff is because they’ve already watched everything else worth watching…

  3. Austin says:

    So basically Netflix is giving up movies people want to watch, for low-budget indy movies people don’t want to watch…. and never going to say take off at least 10 good movies and maybe put on one….

  4. Kantmiss says:

    Well…to me, Netflix, Amazon Prime, & regular satellite TV are an indispensable trio. But the only reason to buy Prime is the free two-day shipping; the streaming shows and such are mere perks. (Mozart in the Jungle was great, though, and Transparent was good…) I have a Roku, but honestly, about the only thing it can do is stream Netflix and Amazon. My Blu-ray player is also supposed to do Netflix, but that flat-out stopped working a while ago, and the other day when I tried to watch a Netflix movie via Roku, it skipped about a dozen times before simply going to static. So now the only way to stream Netflix is with my phone. They really need to work all the bugs out of this technological junk, because I swear it’s bollocks. -_-

    And as somebody said, it WOULD be truly awesome of a service to stream things 30-40+ years old for free…*hint, hint*

  5. Alex says:

    “We hear from our members that you wish we had newer movies,” NO, you haven’t been listening. What we want is MORE CONTENT. All kinds of content. Old, new, TV, movies and original. We want to be able to choose what we want, when we want it from a huge library. So how does REDUCING the amount of content accomplish this? Besides allowing Netflix to offer less to customers for more of their money, I mean…. Well, looks like I’ll be switching off Netflix’ service for 9 months of the year. I can catch up with everything worth watching there in about 3 months time and cut my yearly Netflix outlay by three quarters. When they go up to $10 a month for all members in 2016, that will be $90 less I’ll be spending each year. Heck, that’s the cost of a brand new TV about every 5 years. In addition, I’ll pay for my 3 months with a prepaid Netflix gift card so as to get their cotton picking fingers off my credit cards. I’ll keep AMAZON Prime since they offer other things besides streaming. Plus, my ROKU gives me huge amounts of low cost or free streaming and my antenna does too, so suddenly Netflix is reduced from a major source of content to a peripheral one. :-)

  6. lucaslighthouse says:

    Thanks for sharing! I love Hulu especially because I can watch the latest episodes 1 day after they air. If you live outside USA like me, you can use UnoTelly or other similar tools to access Hulu Plus overseas.

  7. balashi says:

    What’s annoying about all of this is that each pay service is going to start producing its own “original content’ … and so if you want to see all of it, you have to subscribe to all of them!

    Already got sick of having to buy Sony, Nintendo, AND Microsoft platforms for gaming… now I have to do the same with streaming content!?

    Sooner or later these companies are going to hit the consumer brick wall – people can’t afford EVERYTHING!

  8. balashi says:

    Honestly, I’ve only ever used Netflix to catch up on more obscure titles that you can’t find in theaters.

    I also like older movies – how in the world are you supposed to see classics from the 30s – 60s? Used to be your local video store carried a HUGE selection of these .. where the hell do you find them now unless you want to buy them!?

    • Alex says:

      You can still catch many old films and other content on Amazon. Trouble is, much of this is pay per view. I won’t pay extra money to see an 80 year old film or an episode of a 50 year old TV series. A lot of this stuff is so old it feels like it should be in the public domain. I wish Amazon would offer all content over 30 years old on Prime. But, if wishes were horses…… :-)

  9. Shalalala says:

    Seems foolish of Netflix to let that happen, but whatever. As far as I’m concerned, the only great film listed is Catching Fire, so of course I have the deluxe Blu-ray set for that. Netflix has been amazing for the past several years, and there are always the physical rentals for these no-longer-streaming movies. (Who knows how they even decide what to stream? Why Catching Fire but not the other two Hunger Games so far?) Hulu, I’ve only ever done the free trial for…it just doesn’t seem worth subscribing.

  10. Bill B. says:

    I have them both, so this doesn’t mean much to me, but I think Netflix is making a mistake.

  11. CalWFTW says:

    Hulu hurry up and start a service in Canada!

  12. nerdrage says:

    Hulu’s getting Star Trek Into Darkness, wow, I gotta subscribe to see that pile of steaming targ poop!

  13. Jacques Strappe says:

    HULU? Who knew. Movies are always cycling in and out of Netflix so I don’t see this as anything that out of the ordinary. Sounds like HULU is turning into the streamer of last resort.

  14. Geronimo says:

    It’s not quite as bad as it sounds for Netflix subscribers. Yes, they will lose films from Paramount, Lionsgate and MGM, which were covered by the expiring Epix deal, but Netflix will pick up films from Disney and The Weinstein Co. starting with those studios’ 2016 releases. (Releases through the end of this year from Disney continue to go to Starz and from Weinstein to Showtime.) There’s going to be about a 12-month dry spell for movies at Netflix though, since the Epix deal ends on Sept. 30 and it will probably take until 4Q16 before the first Disney or Weinstein films make their way to Netflix.

  15. eugeneeugene420 says:

    So Amazon’s deal with Epix continues I guess.

  16. nerdrage says:

    Uh oh I better watch Transformers quick! hahah I enjoy skipping right over that crap. Netflix why do you even show it to me as an option? Predicted rating: 1 star! Are there really so few things I’d want to watch that you have to toss garbage like that at me?

    And make Transporter The Series go away, too. 1.5 stars. Pew!

  17. Aj says:

    Does anyone know if there is a list of the epix movies going away?

  18. Geri says:

    Would love to know how Netflix hears from its members. The only question they ever ask is when you mailed in your disc and when you received it.

    • Bill B. says:

      They stopped asking me those questions some time ago. Now all I get is a message that something was shipped.

    • eugeneeugene420 says:

      Go to Epix’s website and take a look. A lot of movies will be leaving, including many big hits and quality movies.

    • nerdrage says:

      Netflix sees your ratings and matches those up with other people’s ratings to recommend things to you. They see what you watch and in the aggregate, use that to help them pick new content. So they hear from you all the time, never fear. Assuming you are on streaming. If you are on DVD, they’ve already disconnected emotionally from that business, given the downward trajectory.

  19. Sure says:

    “Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.” lol

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