That was fast. Deadline reported yesterday that movement was afoot to prevent the demise of FilmStruck and its curated access to the movie classics from the Criterion Collection. This after a group of elite filmmakers implored WarnerMedia not to scrub the service at month’s end.
The Criterion films were previously available in the premium version of FilmStruck for $10.99 a month or $100 a year. Pricing will remain at that level for the new Criterion service. Criterion titles will also be part of the larger WarnerMedia offering announced in October, which will hit the market by the end of 2019. That’s the same window when Disney takes the wraps off its new entertainment entry, Disney+.
Here is the announcement with the specifics:
The Criterion Collection and WarnerMedia announced today a new chapter for the beloved collection of Criterion films. In the Spring of 2019, through a special arrangement with WarnerMedia, the Criterion Channel will launch as a free-standing streaming service. Additionally, the popular library of films will be part of WarnerMedia’s recently announced direct-to-consumer platform that is planned to launch in the fourth quarter of 2019. Today’s announcement ensures that fans will have access to these films from the Criterion Collection as well as films from WarnerMedia’s deep and extensive library in what will be a rich and curated experience, which will further expand the audience footprint for these classic and acclaimed movies.
The Criterion Channel will be picking up where FilmStruck left off, with thematic programming, regular filmmaker spotlights, and actor retrospectives, featuring major classics and hard-to-find discoveries from Hollywood and around the world, complete with special features like commentaries, behind-the-scenes footage and original documentaries. The Criterion Channel will continue to produce their guest programmer series, Adventures in Moviegoing, which has already featured such cinephile luminaries as Barry Jenkins, Guillermo del Toro, Bill Hader, and Mira Nair. Criterion’s monthly 15-minute film school, Observations on Film Art, Tuesday’s Short + Feature, and the Friday double-bill will all be back as well.