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
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.