UPDATED: Twilight producer Summit Entertainment has signed an exclusive five-year output deal with HBO. It will cover the mini-major’s movies released from January 2013 through the end of 2017. It will start when Summit’s current output deal with Showtime ends. Summit’s four-year pact with Showtime, which features up to 42 titles released from 2008 through 2012, including the blockbuster Twilight Saga and Oscar-winning The Hurt Locker, was signed in December 2008. (Showtime will continue to run Summit movies through 2014.) It came shortly after the pay cable network lost its main movie suppliers — Paramount, MGM and Lionsgate — who went on to launch their own service, EPIX, and was designed to infuse fresh theatricals into Showtime’s lineup. While the network has been focusing on original programming for the past few years, successfully growing its series stable, theatrical movies are considered an important piece of the mix for pay cable channels. Summit’s departure leaves DreamWorks and The Weinstein Co. as Showtime’s biggest movie partners. (The network has the rights to Disney-distributed DreamWorks releases from 2010-15.) Showtime also has deals with Miramax and CBS corporate sibling CBS Films. I hear Summit brass felt their movies would be better suited for HBO where Summit will join the network’s sibling Warner Bros. as well as Fox, Universal and DreamWorks Animation, which have output deals there. Here is the release:
Los Angeles, CA May 26, 2011 — Summit Entertainment and HBO have entered into an exclusive output agreement through which the leading pay television network will release the studio’s slate of films that arrive in theaters beginning in January 2013 through the end of 2017. The agreement makes Summit the only minimajor to maintain an exclusive output arrangement with HBO. The announcement was made today by Bruce Grivetti, President, Film Programming of HBO, and Rob Friedman, Co-Chairman and CEO of Summit Entertainment.
“We are extremely happy to have Summit Entertainment as our newest partner,” said Grivetti. “HBO is committed to delivering the best filmed entertainment to our subscribers and we believe Summit, an innovative and exciting producer, will play a vital role in the fulfillment of this promise.”
“We are proud to be in business with HBO and have our films programmed alongside many of the industry’s leading studios,” said Friedman. “HBO continues to consistently produce quality original programming mixed with exciting sports and feature film programming and we look forward to a very productive relationship.”
Summit Entertainment films expected to appear on HBO include the studio’s re-imagination of the popular epic adventure HIGHLANDER, ENDER’S GAME based on the award-winning novel written by Orson Scott Card; and epic 3D production POMPEII.
Summit Entertainment’s President of Domestic Television Distribution Alex Fragen and HBO’s Senior Vice President of Film Programming Doris Casap represented the studio and network in negotiations.