In a significant strategic partnership within the ever-changing home/digital entertainment market, Starz, LLC has agreed to sell The Weinstein Company (TWC) a 25% stake in Starz Media, LLC, a programming production, home entertainment and international TV distribution company which includes Anchor Bay Entertainment and other TV/home entertainment assets. Separately, Anchor Bay has entered into a multi-year domestic distribution agreement for new theatrical content from TWC and its Dimension Films label.
The agreements were announced today by Starz, LLC President and CEO Chris Albrecht and TWC Co-Chairmen Bob and Harvey Weinstein. Financial terms of the strategic partnership were not disclosed.
The home/digital entertainment deal, which does not include television rights but spans Blu-ray™, DVD and EST/VOD/PPV electronic/digital distribution, covers up to 20 TWC and Dimension titles per year including the seven-time Golden Globe-nominated Tom Hooper drama The King’s Speech, starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter; Derek Cianfrance‘s Blue Valentine, starring Golden Globe nominees Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling; and John Wells‘ feature directorial debut Company Men, starring Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Costner and Chris Cooper. Other titles include the Kristin Scott Thomas drama Sarah’s Key, upcoming sequels in the successful Scream, Spy Kids, and Scary Movie franchises, and new installments in the Hellraiser, Halloween, and Children of the Corn film series.
“The distribution agreement leverages the scale of the strong Anchor Bay home entertainment business and the Starz Digital Media distribution platform. The Weinstein Company new release content is a quality addition to our distribution pipeline of new releases from Anchor Bay Films and Starz Originals,” Albrecht said. ”Harvey and Bob Weinstein are terrific business partners and we are very pleased to have them as part of Starz Media.”
“We are thrilled to partner with Starz and appreciate the commitment of Liberty Media in bolstering Anchor Bay, allowing it to become a much bigger player in non-theatrical distribution,” offered Bob and Harvey Weinstein in a joint statement. ”We hope this strategic partnership is a first step in not only making Anchor Bay a home for our product, but in potentially housing other companies’ product as well, giving quality independent films the kind of care needed in today’s marketplace.”
“This is an opportunity that excited us, especially given the strong management team and infrastructure at Starz,” stated TWC COO David Glasser. ”It’s a smart, forward-looking partnership that will benefit from the superb skills of Chris Albrecht and everyone at Starz and Anchor Bay.”
“Anchor Bay Entertainment is thrilled to be adding the quality films from The Weinstein Company and its Dimension Films label to our first-class home entertainment and digital distribution businesses. Their track record within the home entertainment category is superb. The TWC films will allow Anchor Bay to continue its expansion, offering consumers and our retail partners excellent independent films featuring leading Hollywood talent,” said Bill Clark, president of Anchor Bay Entertainment.