In a move that enhances its slate of theatrical motion pictures, Showtime Networks has entered into an exclusive seven-year film distribution arrangement with The Weinstein Company (TWC). The joint announcement was made today by Matthew C. Blank, Chairman and CEO of Showtime Networks and Bob and Harvey Weinstein, Co-Chairmen of TWC.
The new output deal is effective with TWC’s 2009 release schedule and includes such highly anticipated films as “Nine,” directed by Rob Marshall (“Chicago”) and featuring an all-star cast including Daniel Day-Lewis, Nicole Kidman, Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Judi Dench and Sophia Loren, and Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglorious Bastards.”
“This exclusive agreement with The Weinstein Company will deliver our subscribers an enormous and diverse slate of films at a price to SHOWTIME that is consistent with today’s marketplace,” said Blank. “Bob’s and Harvey’s films are known for quality and promotability, making them a perfect fit with the acclaimed and award-winning original series that have generated strong momentum and subscriber growth for SHOWTIME. We will continue to pursue such value-enhancing deals in the future.”
The agreement with TWC – combined with upcoming deals from other theatrical distributors and future product from CBS Films – will form a potent feature film portfolio alongside SHOWTIME’s award-winning, critically acclaimed original series and sports programming. These series include Dexter, Californication, The Tudors, Weeds, Brotherhood, The L Word, Tracey Ullman’s State of the Union, Penn & Teller: Bullshit, , Secret Diary of a Call Girl, and the just announced series, United States of Tara, from Executive Producer Steven Spielberg, written by Academy Award winning screenwriter (“Juno”) Diablo Cody and starring Toni Collett. SHOWTIME is also the new home of “Inside The NFL,” with hosts James Brown, Cris Collinsworth and Phil Simms which premieres September 10 as well as Showtime Championship Boxing and Elite XC, Showtime Networks’ entry into the fast-growing sport of mixed martial arts that will be airing its second national broadcast on July 26, with SHOWTIME airing the first hour, from 8-9 before going live on the CBS Television Network at 9.
“This long-term strategic partnership is a tremendous initiative for our company and provides our films with a critically important pay-tv home for the next seven years,” said Harvey Weinstein. “SHOWTIME is one of the hottest brands in television and we have tremendous respect for Matt Blank and his team’s passion, dedication and creativity. In this changing media environment, we are thrilled to have now secured distribution for our films across a variety of media, and we look forward to continuing to build our diverse slate and creating movies that will entertain SHOWTIME’s audience,” he added.
Additional titles included from TWC are: Andrew Jarecki’s “All Good Things” starring Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst, a modern remake of Kurosawa’s legendary “Seventh Samurai,” the screen adaptation of author Paulo Coelho’s best-selling novel “The Alchemist,” and Richard Shepard’s “Panic” based on Jeff Abbott’s best-selling book. The output deal also includes releases from Dimension Films such as “Youth In Revolt,” based on C.D. Payne’s bestselling book and starring Michael Cera, “6 Billion Dollar Man,” the remake of David Cronenberg’s “Scanners,” re-starting the “Scream” franchise with “Scream 4,” and “Piranha 3D.” This deal furthers the relationship between Showtime Networks and TWC’s Dimension Films which began in 1997 with SHOWTIME airing “Mimic,” and “Scream 2.”
“Dimension Films has enjoyed an outstanding relationship with Showtime and we are glad to be re-united with Matt Blank,” added Bob Weinstein. “We are excited to build upon our past success with this new partnership and our upcoming slate.”
Film Fetish Trivia: Dimension Films is also distributing an upcoming remake of Clive Barker’s original Hellraiser movie, which is scheduled to be released in January 2009. I don’t know if that film is part of this deal, but with that large a volume of product, it probably is.