Touting itself as an online cineplex for indie films, Flix Premiere launched its steaming service Friday in the U.S., two months after its U.K. opening.
“We’re at the confluence of exhibition and distribution, if we do our job right,” said film producer and tech entrepreneur Martin Warner, who heads Flix Premiere. The service offers exclusive access to “curated theatrical releases” for $4.99 per film.
“Moviegoers will have a single, simple destination where they can discover great new and old movies, particularly in the independent sector,” he added.
Warner told Variety that he set up Flix Premiere to give indie movies an opportunity to find an audience since traditional theatrical distribution and programming models are set up for blockbusters. The new platform will offer viewers eight to nine movie premieres every week exclusive to Flix Premiere — making the service distinctive from traditional cinema release and VOD platforms like Netflix and Hulu.
Titles available include romantic comedy “I Put a Hit on You,” starring Aaron Ashmore; Danny Glover’s “Tula: The Revolt; Manoj Annadurai’s “Get Happy!”; and Estes Tarver’s drama “Changeover.”
The first two “red carpet” upcoming titles unveiled Friday were “Interwoven,” starring Mo’Nique, based on 15 interconnected true-life stories of people struggling with love, loss, homelessness, alcoholism and betrayal; and rock band drama “The Paddy Lincoln Gang.”
“Interwoven” premieres on July 1 and “The Paddy Lincoln Gang” debuts the next day.
Warner expects Flix Premiere to attract more than 2 million viewers in its first year — compared with 600,000 for Netflix at the same stage. Flix Premiere features original pics that have been selected from film festivals such as Tribeca, Sundance and Cannes.
The U.S. is the second market to go live with Flix Premiere — part of the company’s global launch in seven countries within the next year. The selection of movies in the Flix Premiere theater will change every 10 to 12 days and the films stay exclusive to the site for 12 months.
Flix Premiere’s strategy is to extend the experience of a movie premiere with “red carpet” screenings, behind-the-scenes interviews with actors and directors, and the worldwide debut of a new movie.
Warner points to recent data showing that consumers spend 5.6 hours every week watching movies, TV shows and videos online, according to Forrester’s Consumer Technographics study.