Open Road Films signs pay TV deal with Netflix


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Open Road Films has become the latest independent movie company to forgo traditional television for its pay TV deal.

The distributor launched earlier this year by theater circuits AMC Entertainment Inc. and Regal Entertainment Group has signed a deal with Netflix to stream its movies via the Internet during the period traditionally controlled by cable networks like HBO and Showtime.


Netflix will have exclusive rights to the movies during the ‘pay TV window,’ which typically begins six to eight months after a film’s theatrical release and lasts about a year.

Last summer, Relativity Media became the first studio to sign a ‘pay TV window’ agreement with Netflix. It was soon followed by fellow independent studio FilmDistrict.

AMC and Regal created Open Road to acquire and release movies at a time when the major Hollywood studios are producing and releasing fewer movies and are feuding with exhibitors over how quickly they release pictures through video on demand after they debut in theaters.

Open Road’s first theatrical release is the Jason Statham and Robert De Niro action movie ‘Killer Elite,’ which debuts Sept. 23. Its only other title thus far is ‘The Host,’ a science-fiction romance drama based on a book by ‘Twilight’ author Stephenie Meyer, scheduled for release March 29, 2013.

-- Ben Fritz


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