Hulu and Annapurna Pictures just pacted for a major output licensing agreement that will grant Hulu the pay one window streaming rights to films released by Annapurna, which is becoming a mini-major studio along the lines of the old Miramax or Weinstein Company. Under terms of the the multi-year deal, future films released by Annapurna Pictures will stream exclusively on Hulu following their theatrical release. The deal marks the biggest film output licensing agreement for Hulu, as well as the first-of-its-kind agreement for Annapurna Pictures.
The first release through Hulu will be the Kathryn Bigelow-directed Unititled Detroit Project which is also getting the full force of Annapurna’s new marketing and distribution team behind it when it bows on August 4th. The film, written by Mark Boal, is based on the 1967 Detroit race riots. Bigelow and Boal’s previous collaboration was on Zero Dark Thirty which garnered five Academy Award nominations for Annapurna.
Annapurna is also putting together Richard Linklater’s film adaptation of the Maria Semple book Where’d You Go, Bernadette starring Cate Blanchett which will also go through Hulu. Hulu will also stream future films from teh company that has produced such critically-acclaimed fare as American Hustle, Her, Foxcatcher and The Master as well as the strong female story Joy and the raunchy comedy Sausage Party. So the deal is assured to provide Hulu with both critical and commercial content.
The Hulu deal follows a string of multi-year, pay one window output agreements with independent distributors including IFC Films for documentaries and Magnolia Pictures. In addition, Hulu recently set deals with EPIX and The Walt Disney Studios that significantly expanded and reinforced Hulu’s increased efforts in film over the past year.
Hulu also has done its fair share of original programming, most recently with
The Handmaid’s Tale, the drama that has been getting a major marketing promo push behind it for its April release. It also successfully streamed Ron Howard’s music documentary The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years after it received a theatrical release via Abramorama.
Chris Corabi, Josh Small, and Don Hardison negotiated the Hulu deal on behalf of Annapurna.