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Free Streaming Site Popcornflix Adds First Exclusive Films, Including Kristen Bell’s ‘The Lifeguard’

Popcornflix, a free streaming site stocked with mostly old and obscure movies and TV shows, has nabbed exclusive rights to several films — its first exclusive content — including dramedy “The Lifeguard” starring Kristen Bell.

The ad-supported video site is owned by Screen Media Ventures, a New York-based independent distributor of movies with a catalog of more than 1,500. Compared with the likes of Netflix or Hulu, Popcornflix is minuscule: The company claims it garners an average of 25 million video impressions per month.

The exclusive streaming titles on Popcornflix are owned by Screen Media, which is hoping to monetize them on the free service in the absence of more lucrative deals with TV or SVOD distributors.

But it’s questionable if the exclusive material will boost Popcornflix’s traffic much, as “Lifeguard” may be the only movie in the bunch with a recognizable star. Others are family film “The Adventures of Mickey Matson and the Copperhead Treasure,” thrillers “Duress” and “The Expelled,” comedy “Eurotrapped” and horror movie “Red Line.”

In “Lifeguard,” which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, a woman (Bell) shortly before her 30th birthday who moves back to her childhood home, where she assumes her old job as a lifeguard and starts a dangerous relationship with a teenager.

Popcornflix is available on multiple platforms, including iOS and Android devices, Roku, PlayStation, Xbox, Amazon Fire TV, and Samsung, Bravia, Panasonic and Google Smart TVs.

The service is not to be confused with Popcorn Time, the piracy streaming-video sites that shut down after the MPAA pursued legal action against the parties behind the project.

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