Relativity Media - the company behind this summer's Robin Hood, Get Him To The Greek and Grown Ups - has signed a deal with Netflix that may be about to turn the latter company's streaming movie service into a big deal.
The deal, announced this morning, will see theatrically-released movies owned by Relativity (An important distinction, as many of the company's movies are co-productions or financing deals with other studios that they don't own outright) bypass paid-TV premiere and debut, instead, on Netflix' streaming service. The official press release for the news calls it "a continued shift in the distribution of major motion pictures in the U.S.," but I'm closer to Nikki Finke's take:
This exclusive deal with Netflix might be impressive if more of Relativity Media's movies did better at the box office... Sorry, but it's hilarious to think this deal will make HBO or Showtime or Starz or Epix shudder, especially as they continue to move away from showing movies and more towards original programming.
What it does do, however, is open another avenue for studios who want to switch up their post-theater distribution model. Paramount have already done away with the 28-day window preventing DVD rentals from Redbox, and this new announcement suggests that other studios may also be considering other ways to get movies into unconvinced viewers' hands as quickly, and cheaply, as possible. As one who already watches a lot through Netflix Streaming, here's hoping more follow suit.