Open Road Films Headed to Showtime in Multiyear Deal

The Grey / Narc One Sheet - P 2012

The film distributor's recent slate of releases includes "The Grey" and Steven Soderbergh's "Side Effects."

Showtime is getting in business with Open Road Films.

The premium cable net on Tuesday announced a multiyear agreement with the film distributor, which will give Showtime, The Movie Channel and Flix exclusive access to its films. The pact will begin in 2017 and run through 2020.

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"We are thrilled to join forces with Showtime Networks as a long-term partner for our films," said Open Road Films CEO Tom Ortenberg. "Showtime is a premier destination for a large and diverse slate of entertainment properties and we are confident our titles will thrive there."

The move comes several years after Showtime ended its major studio pacts in what CEO Matt Blank deemed a strategy to focus more on original series. "We think movies are very, very important, but more and more as things happen in the film business, people are going to have access to the big feature films before the premium TV window," Blank told The Hollywood Reporter in an interview earlier this year. "We want to have more movies on Showtime in five years -- just not necessarily first-run ones. We just think that those dollars are better spent against content that you can't see anywhere else that we own and that brands us."

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Among the network's most successful brands is Homeland and the recently concluded Dexter.

"Open Road is an ideal partner because of its commercial, entertaining films that are a perfect fit for premium television," said Kent Sevener and Gary Garfinkel, co-heads of content acquisition for Showtime. “These films will bolster our theatrical lineup for years to come and further diversify our network's rich slate of program offerings. We are very excited to be in business with Tom Ortenberg and his talented team."

Open Road's recent films include The Grey, End of Watch, A Haunted House, Stephenie Meyer's The Host and Steven Soderbergh's Side Effects.