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Blockbuster Gets IFC Rental Exclusive

5 Mar, 2008 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Blockbuster Inc. March 5 said it inked a two-year exclusive rental distribution deal with IFC Entertainment.

New York-based IFC distributes original and third-party films theatrically day-and-date with on-demand cable TV, which reportedly reaches 45 million subscribers.

Initial titles include March 7 theatrical releases Paranoid Park, from director Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting); Sundance Film Festival screener Savage Grace, with Julianne Moore; Hannah Takes the Stairs; and French-language film Dans Paris.

Other films include Cannes Film Festival winner and Golden Globe nominee 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days; Harmony Korine's Mister Lonely; The Last Mistress, with Asia Argento; Patrice Lecontes' My Best Friend; Ken Loach's The Wind that Shakes the Barley; Susanne Bier's Oscar-nominated After the Wedding; and Hou Hsiao Hsien's Flight of the Red Balloon.

Under terms of the deal, Blockbuster and IFC will split DVD and digital revenue (via Movielink) for IFC titles over a 60-day rental window, which includes sellthrough.

Following the period, Blockbuster retains exclusive DVD rental rights for three years. Genius Products Inc., which distributes exclusive rental titles from The Weinstein Co. to Blockbuster in a similar arrangement, is IFC's sales agent.

Blockbuster has installed special independent film displays in 1,000 stores that include non-IFC titles. The Dallas-based No. 1 DVD rental retailer also showcases the American Film Institute's (AFI) Top 100 movies on its Web site.

“Blockbuster's national store network combined with its by-mail and downloading services, made this a particularly appealing agreement for us because it gives millions of customers increased access to our movies,” said Lisa Schwartz, SVP of sales and business development for IFC.

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