NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - The Weinstein Co. has signed an exclusive, seven-year deal to funnel its movies to premium cable channel Showtime, the companies said Monday.
The pact, which begins in 2009, will cover 95 films, including such titles as Quentin Tarantino's recently announced World War Two movie "Inglorious Bastards" and "Chicago" director Rob Marshall's adaptation of the Broadway musical "Nine."
CBS Corp-owned Showtime, which is enjoying success with such original series as 'Weeds,' 'Californication' and 'Dexter,' previously had an "output" deal with MGM, Paramount and Lionsgate. But those three studios joined forces three months ago to create a rival pay TV channel -- partially as a result of the more tight-fisted terms that Showtime was trying to exact from them.
Since then, Showtime has been scurrying for new movie suppliers, which inevitably have to be mostly indies because the other Hollywood majors are tied up in multiyear deals with rival pay TV outlets HBO and Starz.
Along came the Weinstein Co., which has not had much luck at the box office since principals Bob and Harvey Weinstein launched the company almost three years ago after severing their ties with Miramax.
Although the brothers are moving ahead with such high-profile titles as "Nine" and "Inglorious Bastards," they has been seeking partners for production financing just as they has been sharing the costs of key film acquisitions.
The parties declined to disclose financial terms.