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After Delay, Turner Launches Netflix-Style FilmStruck Service With Classic, Indie and Foreign Movies

Turner on Tuesday launched FilmStruck, its subscription video-on-demand service with hundreds of indie, foreign, classic and cult films aimed at movie buffs, after a two-week delay.

Originally, the service, developed and managed by Turner Classic Movies (TCM) in collaboration with the Criterion Collection, had been slated to debut on Oct. 19. Turner said it postponed the launch to work out glitches in the registration process.

The service is available only in the U.S. initially Pricing starts at $6.99 per month (excluding the Criterion Channel). For $10.99 monthly, subs will get the baseline FilmStruck service plus the Criterion Channel, offering largest streaming collection of Criterion films available. Turner also is offering an annual subscription of $99 per year for FilmStruck and the Criterion Channel.

The rotating selection of titles on FilmStruck will include “Babette’s Feast,” “Blood Simple,” “Blow-Up,” “Breaker Morant,” “A Hard Day’s Night,” “Mad Max,” “Metropolis,” “Moulin Rouge,” “My Life as a Dog,” “Paths of Glory,” “The Player,” “A Room with a View,” “Seven Samurai,” “The Seventh Seal,” “The Unbearable Lightness of Being,” “Stardust Memories,” “The Trip to Bountiful,” “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” and “Woodstock.”

FilmStruck’s movies come from such indie studios as Janus Films, Flicker Alley, Icarus Films, Kino, Milestone, Zeitgeist, Film Movement, Global Lens, First Run Features, Oscilloscope Laboratories and Shout Factory, along with major studios including Warner Bros. and MGM.

Starting Nov. 11, FilmStruck will become the exclusive streaming home to the Criterion Channel. With the FilmStruck deal, Criterion films are rolling off Hulu, which had been the exclusive streaming partner for Criterion’s library in the U.S. since 2011.

How many subs will FilmStruck attract? Turner says there are millions of potential customers: Based on a survey of 2,000 film fans in the U.S. commissioned by the company conducted by Frank N. Magid Associates, it estimates that there are 15 million people 18-49 in the United States who would be interested in a service like FilmStruck. It will vie for market share against other services targeting film fans, including Fandor and Tribeca Shortlist, a joint venture of Lionsgate and Tribeca Enterprises.

FilmStruck is available on the web, Android and iOS devices, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV, with additional platforms and devices coming in the future. As with Netflix, Hulu and other services, FilmStruck offers only video streaming (with no downloads for offline viewing).

The FilmStruck service will feature over 70 curated and regularly refreshed programming themes, along with exclusive bonus content like hosted introductions, interviews and rare footage. Themes include: “The Beauty of Italy”; “Cinema Passport,” showcasing titles from countries with a rich film history and culture; films directed by Mike Leigh and early works by Stanley Kubrick; “The Masters,” a monthly director-focused collection that will initially include films by Akira Kurosawa, François Truffaut, Fritz Lang and Chantal Akerman; and “Panic Room,” a monthly collection of cult and indie horror film hosted by actor-comedian Lucky Yates.

Additionally, FilmStruck will offer cinephiles exclusive bonus content such as archival footage and newly produced pieces, including mini-documentaries and “Point of View (POV)” with celebrities and experts offering retrospectives on the various franchises and themes each month.

Some of FilmStruck’s titles will have closed-captioning available at launch; Turner plans to have closed-captioning on most titles by the end of 2016.

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