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Hulu Inks Annapurna Pictures Pay-One TV Window Movie Output Deal

Variety logo Variety 4/6/2017 Todd Spangler
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Hulu and Annapurna Pictures have reached an output-licensing agreement that will grant Hulu pay-one window streaming rights to films released by the film producer and distributor.

It’s the biggest film output agreement for Hulu to date, as well as the first-of-its-kind agreement for Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures. Under the multiyear pact, future films released by Annapurna Pictures will stream exclusively on Hulu following their theatrical release.

Annapurna’s first release under the Hulu deal will be the untitled project about the 1967 Detroit riots, directed by Kathryn Bigelow, slated to bow Aug. 4, 2017. In production is the film adaptation of Maria Semple’s novel “Where’d You Go, Bernadette,” to be directed by Richard Linklater and starring Cate Blanchett. “Pay one” refers to the first movie-release window on television; those rights historically have gone to premium cable networks.

Annapurna Pictures releases have included Oscar-nominated films “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Joy,” “American Hustle,” “Foxcatcher,” “Her” and “The Master.”

“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 in announcing the agreement.

Craig Erwich, Hulu’s senior VP and head of content, added: “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 deal follows Hulu’s pay -one window output agreements with indie distributors IFC Films for documentaries and Magnolia Pictures. In addition, the streamer recently set deals with Epix and Walt Disney Studios that expanded Hulu’s film library over the past year.

Chris Corabi, Josh Small and Don Hardison negotiated the deal on behalf of Annapurna.

Hulu — which is preparing the launch this spring of a live TV streaming service, priced at under $40 monthly — is owned by Disney, 21st Century Fox and Comcast, with Time Warner holding a 10% stake.

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