×

San Sebastian: Disney, Telefonica Pact Movistar Plus ‘Star Wars’ Channel

Channel kick in over two weekends late September, then in run up to Dec. 18 bow of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

SAN SEBASTIAN – Adding to the roster of novel initiatives warming up the world for the bow of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” The Walt Disney Company Iberia and giant telco Telefonica have pacted to create a Movistar Plus “Star Wars” channel for Spain.

The pay TV service will kick in over two weekends late September, temporarily replacing the Canal Plus DCine service, and showing the first six movies in the franchise.

In the 15-day run up to the Dec. 18 Spain bow of J.J. Abrams’ “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” a pop-up channel channel will air on Movistar Plus’ pay TV platform, broadcasting the films, documentaries, extras and Movistar’s own productions. Content will be available on VOD and for smartphones and tablets.

Movistar Plus will screen “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” some months after its theatrical release. Disney and Telefonica will also launch events and other joint promotional initiatives for Movistar Plus clients, said Simon Anselem, country manager, Walt Disney Company Spain and Portugal.

“Force Awakens” will air later on free-to-air broadcast group Mediaset España.

Popular on Variety

But “Movistar Plus will be the service where most Star Wars contents will be seen in Spain,” he added.

The Dosney pact is a sign of Telefonica’s ambition to be a pay TV leader in Spain as well as Latin America, playing in this case of the most powerful franchise in movie history, a press statement said Saturday.

Movistar Plus is obliged by Spanish anti-trust laws to make studio movies available for purchase by rival pay TV operators in Spain. That does not mean, however, that other operators buy everything, said Ignacio Fernandez-Vega, Movistar Plus director general, said in San Sebastian.

Independent product and Telefonica’s ramping-up roster of productions and co-productions are excluded from this obligation.

Disney-Telefonica’s Star Wars channel will also be exclusive to Movistar Plus, Fernandez-Vega added.

The San Sebastian Festival served as a reminder of just how quickly Telefonica Studios, Telefonica’s film and TV production arm and an increasingly important Movistar Plus supplier, has moved to co-produce some of the key content – here movies – coming out of the Spanish-speaking world.

Movistar Plus is unspooling five movies at San Sebastian: Alejandro Amenabar’s satanic rites psychological thriller fest opener “Regression,” with Ethan Hawke and Emma Watson, Alex de la Iglesia’s dark TV studio-set comedy “My Big Night,” playing out of competition, Nacho G. Velilla’s Germany-set Spanish immigration comedy “Perdiendo el Norte,” the biggest Spanish box office hit this year in Spain, Pablo Trapero’s Venice best director winner “The Clan,” which has grossed a first three-week $13 million in Argentina, an all-time record for an Argentine movie, and Santiago Mitre’s Cannes 2015 Critics’ Week winner “Paulina.”

 

More Film

  • Parasite Movie

    'Parasite' Enjoys Record Box Office Boost After Oscar Wins

    Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite” is reaping box office riches after its groundbreaking Oscar best picture win. The twisted South Korean thriller collected $5.5 million over the weekend, an exceptional 234% increase in ticket sales and the biggest post-Oscar boost for a best picture winner in the past decade. In the seven days since the Academy [...]

  • Nikita Pearl Waligwa

    Nikita Pearl Waligwa, Actor in Disney's 'Queen of Katwe,' Dies at 15

    Nikita Pearl Waligwa, an actor who appeared in Disney’s biographical drama “Queen of Katwe,” has died, according to BBC and the Ugandan newspaper Daily Monitor. She was 15. Waligwa had been diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2016 and seemed to recover a year later. However, in 2019, another tumor was found. “Queen of Katwe” [...]

  • James Marsden and Sonic (Ben Schwartz)

    'Sonic the Hedgehog' Dominates Box Office With Mighty $57 Million Debut

    Paramount’s family film “Sonic the Hedgehog” ignited over Presidents’ Day weekend with $57 million in North America and $100 million globally, the biggest showing ever for a video game adaptation. “Sonic” is expected to earn $68-70 million through Monday, one of the best results for the holiday weekend. The better-than-expected start is even more notable [...]

  • Shaun the sheep

    How '80s Sci-Fi Films Inspired 'Shaun the Sheep: Farmageddon'

    Shaun, everyone’s favorite sheep, is back, and this time he’s facing aliens and robots in “A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon.” Directors Will Becher and Richard Phelan teamed together on this film for their first full-length collaboration. While the two have been working at Aardman Studios, Phelan’s background was as a story artist and Becher’s [...]

  • Sonic (Ben Schwartz) in SONIC THE

    Box Office: 'Sonic the Hedgehog' Speeding to $65 Million Opening Weekend

    “Sonic the Hedgehog” is speeding to a $65 million opening at the North American box office this President’s Day weekend, according to estimates. Paramount’s action-adventure, based on the Sega video game character, had been pegged to generate $40-45 million prior to its launch. Should estimates hold, it could break the $54 million record set last [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content