WarnerMedia’s Turner Latin America, one of Latin America’s biggest pay TV operators, has struck an exclusive distribution alliance with Mexico-based Cinépolis, one of the biggest cinema theater chains in the world.
The partnership, announced Tuesday, will see Cinépolis release eight to 10 movies in the second half of 2020 sourced from Particular Crowd, Turner’s new TNT Original production-acquisition house. The films will be released under Cinépolis’ Plus QueCine label, dedicated to bringing alternative content to the company’s big screens.
The alliance kicks off with true-facts-based “Escape From Pretoria,” a pre-apartheid-era jailbreak thriller starring Daniel Radcliffe and Daniel Webber that is co-produced and sold by Arclight Films.
Marc Meyers’ “Human Capital,” a thriller with Liev Schreiber, Peter Sarsgaard and Marisa Tomei that bowed at last year’s Toronto Film Festival, is also included in the deal.
“Escape From Pretoria” will open initially in Mexico, where Cinépolis has reopened its exhibition circuit at 82 theaters. As other Latin America territories emerge from coronavirus-induced lockdown, films included in the deal will bow in additional countries in the region where Cinépolis owns and operates theaters: Mexico, Chile, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Perú, Argentina and Brazil.
Already a dominant force in Latin American pay TV, Turner boasted a 24% regional market share last year and five of the region’s top 10 channels in 2019: Cartoon Network (No. 1), TNT (No. 4), Space (No. 6), TNT Series (No. 8) and Warner Channel (No. 10).
It originally focused on acquisitions, but, as present-day potential for acquisitions became more limited, began to ramp up original series production from 2017.
Launched this January at Miami’s Natpe market, Particular Crowd marks a further step in what then-Turner Latin America president Whit Richardson called at the launch the company’s transformation into “a leading Latin American intellectual property hub.”
Particular Crowd had completed 30 features by the end of 2019, targeting their release across a wide variety of outlets from linear TV (Space, TNT) to theaters and digital platforms.
Cinepolis operates a total of 868 theaters in 17 countries around the world, representing 6,704 digital screens. It is a pioneer in North and Latin America in 4DX technology.
Jamie Lang contributed to this article.