The Starz network and streaming service is owned by Lionsgate, so it only makes sense that Starz and Lionsgate have inked an exclusive first window output deal for new releases.
The Hollywood Reporter explains this morning, “Lionsgate is looking to give Starz a bigger movie streaming bundle by signing a multiyear theatrical output agreement with its premium subscription platform for Lionsgate and Summit label films.”
The site’s report continues, “As part of the deal, Starz will get an exclusive first window for Lionsgate label films when the current distribution agreement with Hulu expires at the end of 2021. And Summit label films will land on Starz when the current deal with HBO through to the end of 2022 expires.”
Upcoming genre films that fall under this new umbrella include Eli Roth’s Borderlands and the John Wick movies. Franchise relaunch Spiral: From the Book of Saw is being released by Lionsgate this coming May, well before Lionsgate’s agreement with Hulu expires, but it sounds like any future installments in the franchise will be finding a post-theatrical home on Starz.
The idea here is for studios to use their latest releases to boost numbers for their own streaming services, rather than lending them out to the Hulus and Netflixs of the world. The latter approach had long been the norm, but new platforms like HBO Max and Paramount+ are changing the game and, yes, forcing us all to subscribe to multiple different services.
Can you even keep track of what you’re subscribing to, at this point? It’s getting tough!