FilmDistrict pacts with Netflix to stream titles

Multi-year deal includes 'Drive,' 'Lockout'

Bypassing a traditional pay cable output deal, fledgling distrib FilmDistrict has struck a multiyear pact with Netflix for Web streaming of its feature films.

FilmDistrict’s deal comes on the heels of Relativity Media’s similar pact with Netflix to stream its releases during the traditional pay TV window, about 11-12 months after a title’s theatrical release. The accords reflect the tighter market for output deals among traditional pay TV outlets — HBO, Showtime and Starz — and the aggressive moves that the fast-growing Netflix is making to expand the lineup of firstrun pics available for its streaming service. Netflix has made it clear that Web streaming is the future growth driver of its subscription service.

Netflix also cut a deal earlier this year with Epix, the pay TV entity launched by Paramount, MGM and Lionsgate, for streaming rights to its titles.

The first FilmDistrict titles that will be offered by Netflix include Ryan Gosling-Carey Mulligan crime actioner “Drive” and Luc Besson-produced sci-fi adventure “Lockout,” starring Guy Pearce and Maggie Grace. Both titles are set for release next year.

Popular on Variety

FilmDistrict was launched earlier this year by Graham King, Tim Headington and Peter Schlessel. Bob Berney and Adrian Alperovich subsequently joined the company as prexy of film distribution and prexy of acquisitions and operations, respectively. Schlessel is CEO.

“Netflix has a long and successful history working with Peter Schlessel and Bob Berney, and I have long admired Graham King’s amazing production success with movies like ‘The Departed’ and ‘Blood Diamond,’ which are among the most watched and highly rated movies of all time by Netflix members,” said Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer.

Alperovich said Netflix’s “innovative and flexible entrepreneurial spirit” makes the company a perfect partner.

Netflix’s subscriber base of movie and TV aficionados should be a good fit with the kind of pics FilmDistrict aims to release.

“Netflix has strategically developed a bold business model, and they love movies,” Berney said.

More Film

  • Mickey Rourke

    Film News Roundup: Mickey Rourke's 'Adverse' Opens Fantasporto Festival

    In today’s film news roundup, a Mickey Rourke crime drama will premiere in Portugal, a film about the Purdue Pharma scandal is in the works and the documentary “After Parkland” will be shown at 100 locations on the second anniversary of the Parkland shootings. FESTIVAL OPENER The world premiere of Mickey Rourke’s crime drama “Adverse” [...]

  • Director of the Sundance Film Festival

    Outgoing Sundance Festival Director John Cooper Reflects on 30 Years of Highs and Lows

    John Cooper, the outgoing director of the Sundance Film Festival, has been on Robert Redford’s payroll for 30 years. Many in the small world of Hollywood, and the even smaller ecosystem of global film festivals, braced at the announcement last June that Cooper would step down, taking with him decades of institutional memory. Cooper spoke [...]

  • Sam Rockwell Awards Season Fashion

    Stylist Michael Fisher Discusses Sam Rockwell's Red Carpet Looks

    Stylist Michael Fisher wanted Sam Rockwell’s looks to reflect his dynamic acting: “Sam and I gravitate towards color and pattern.” Sept. 8 “It’s a celebration with Sam every time we have a fitting,” says stylist Michael Fisher of longtime client Rockwell. “He’s such a vibrant, amazing actor and personality, and he really enjoys these moments, [...]

  • Conductor and Composer Eímear Noone pictured

    Oscars to Feature Female Orchestra Conductor for the First Time

    A woman will be conducting at the Oscars for the first time on Sunday, Feb. 9, the Academy announced today. Irish-born composer-conductor Eímear Noone will conduct excerpts from the five nominated scores. She is the first female to lead the orchestra in the history of the televised awards, the Academy said. Details beyond that are [...]

  • Tina Fey attends the "Mean Girls"

    Tina Fey Announces Movie Adaptation of Broadway's 'Mean Girls' Musical

    It’s good to be mean…the “Mean Girls” musical, that is. Producers of the hit Broadway show announced today that the Tony-nominated production is being adapted for the big screen for Paramount Pictures. The musical is based on the 2004 movie of the same name. “I’m very excited to bring ‘Mean Girls’ back to the big screen,’ Tina Fey, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content