Amazon Strikes Open Road Films Exclusive Streaming Pact

Deal for Prime Instant Video service will start with Open Road's 2016 theatrical slate

Amazon.com reached a multiyear content-licensing agreement with midsize film distributor Open Road Films giving the e-commerce giant’s Prime Instant Video exclusive streaming rights to Open Road’s theatrical releases starting with its 2016 slate.

The deal, though relatively small, is another victory for Amazon in its fight with Netflix for exclusive content. The Open Road titles will launch on Prime Instant Video starting in 2017, available to Amazon Prime members.

Open Road titles coming to Prime ahead of any other non-cable U.S. subscription service will include comedy “Fifty Shades of Black,” starring Marlon Wayans; action-thriller “Triple 9,” with an ensemble cast featuring Casey Affleck, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Woody Harrelson, Aaron Paul, Kate Winslet and Gal Gadot; and Garry Marshall-directed romantic comedy “Mother’s Day,” starring Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson and Jason Sudeikis.

Other 2016 Open Road releases are action-thriller “Sleepless Night,” starring Jamie Foxx, Michelle Monaghan, Gabrielle Union, T.I., Dermot Mulroney, Scoot McNairy and David Harbour; “Bleed for This,” starring Miles Teller, Katey Sagal and Aaron Eckhart; and animated family film “Blazing Samurai,” a project being produced by “The Lion King” director Rob Minkoff, Yair Landau and Susan Purcell.

Separately, Amazon Studios has launched an original films division, headed by Ted Hope, with plans of producing or acquiring about 12 movies annually. Its first pickup is Spike Lee’s “Chi-Raq” (working title) drama about inner-city gun violence in Chicago, with a limited theatrical release eyed for later this year before hitting Prime.

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