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Hulu is adding to its growing film library through an expansive new output deal with Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures.
The multiyear deal, Hulu’s biggest film licensing agreement to date, will give Hulu the exclusive streaming rights to future Annapurna releases following their theatrical run. Titles that will come to Hulu as part of the deal include Kathryn Bigelow’s untitled Detroit riots project, set to bow on Aug. 4, and the film adaptation of Maria Semple’s novel Where’d You Go, Bernadette, which is being directed by Richard Linklater and will star Cate Blanchett.
“We are thrilled to have found a forward-thinking partner and home for Annapurna’s films in Hulu and are excited that the work of our filmmakers will be available and easily accessible for audiences on this amazing platform,” Annapurna president of distribution Erik Lomis said Thursday in a statement.
Added Hulu head of content Craig Erwich: “Annapurna Pictures has developed a well-known reputation of delivering standout, award-winning films year after year. These are exactly the types of titles we look for to expand our film offering, and we are confident that our viewers will love watching their future slate of releases on Hulu.”
The Hulu deal signals that Annapurna is moving full steam into the distribution business. Last year, the company poached longtime Weinstein Co. distribution chief Lomis and then hired Marc Weinstock, a veteran marketing chief of both Fox and Sony. They were the two highest-profile film executives to make the move to Ellison’s Annapurna, which also added onetime HBO president Sue Naegle to its ranks.
Bigelow’s summer film is the first project to be released under Annapurna’s new marketing and distribution arm. It is teaming with MGM to distribute the film in select international markets.
After years focusing on acquiring television rights, Hulu has tried to grow its film slate. In 2015, the company inked a multiyear deal with Epix to bring films from Lionsgate, MGM and Paramount to its subscribers. It has also recently acquired films from Disney, IFC Films and Magnolia Pictures.
Chris Corabi, Josh Small and Don Hardison negotiated the deal on behalf of Annapurna.
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