Hulu takes Epix films as Netflix deal ends

US streaming service Hulu has swooped for exclusive movies from premium pay network Epix after the latter’s agreement with Netflix ended with no new deal.

All new Epix theatrical releases and original programmes will be made available 90 days on Hulu after the pay TV window opens.

For Hulu, the deal is significant as Epix titles previously went out through rival Netflix. Hulu has been bolstering its film catalogue in the past year, scoring deals with the likes of IFC Films.

Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation, Interstellar and The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water will be available in coming months.

Films including Hunger Games: Catching FireTransformers: Age of Extinction, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Star Trek: Into Darkness, World War Z and Wolf of Wall Street will be available at launch.

“This is a landmark deal for Hulu and it marks a huge expansion for our offering of premium programming,” said Hulu’s senior VP and head of content, Craig Erwich.

“Hulu already offers some of the best and biggest titles in television programming, but our subscribers have been asking us for more, and more recent, big movies. We listened,” he added. “Through this new deal with Epix, we are proud to now be able to offer a huge selection of the biggest blockbusters and premium films.”

Netflix claimed it had allowed its Epix deal to lapse as its customers wanted “newer movies”, which its push into original filmmaking would provide.

“It will take us time to build a robust slate of original movies, but we’re hard at work on it with such great stars and directors as Brad Pitt, Ricky Gervais, Judd Apatow, Angelina Jolie, Sofia Coppola and Adam Sandler,” Netflix’s chief content officer, Ted Sarandos wrote in a blog post.

“While many of these movies are popular, they are also widely available on cable and other subscription platforms at the same time as they are on Netflix and subject to the same drawn out licensing periods. Through our original films and some innovative licensing arrangements with the movie studios, we are aiming to build a better movie experience for you.”

“We know some of you will be disappointed by the expiration of the Epix movies,” he added. “Our goal is to provide great movies and TV series for all tastes, that are only available on Netflix. We’re confident you’ll enjoy our ever-improving catalogue.”

Netflix still has film deals with Sony Pictures Animation, Universal Pictures and DreamWorks Animation, and will become the exclusive US SVOD home of Disney movies from next year.

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