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Netflix Hits the ‘Open Road’

28 Jun, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Streaming deal gives Netflix subscribers access to original movies with A-list stars

Netflix June 28 said it signed a streaming deal with Open Road Films — an upstart production company founded by theater operators Regal Entertainment Group and AMC Entertainment, looking to get into content production and circumvent budding premium VOD overtures by major studios.

Under terms of the multiyear agreement, Netflix gets streaming rights in the pay-TV window of Open Road’s first release — action thriller Killer Elite, starring Jason Statham, Robert DeNiro and Clive Owen.

In addition, Open Road’s second feature, The Host, the big-screen adaptation of “Twilight” series author Stephenie Meyer’s eponymous bestselling novel, will be available for streaming via Netflix in the future. The film, which is directed by Andrew Niccol (Gattaca) and stars Saoirse Ronan (Hanna, The Lovely Bones, Atonement), is set for theatrical release March 29, 2013.

Home entertainment distribution details, including DVD/Blu-ray Disc and transactional VOD, were not disclosed.

“Netflix provides us the opportunity to bring Open Road Films titles to consumers in the most innovative ways possible, and this partnership is an important part of our new model for theatrical distribution,” said Tom Ortenberg, CEO of Open Road.

Ortenberg is no stranger to the movie business. He spent 12 years with Lionsgate where he headed theatrical distribution and marketing until 2009. He then went to The Weinstein Co., where he assumed the newly created position of president of theatrical films, overseeing distribution, marketing, publicity and acquisitions for its Dimension Films unit.

“With their keen eye for commercial content and a savvy business plan, we are confident that Open Road will bring Netflix members a diverse array of successful and high-quality films,” Ted Sarandos, Netflix chief content officer, said in a statement.

About the Author: Erik Gruenwedel

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