Hulu lands pay-TV window deal with Magnolia after Netflix deal lapses

Magnolia Pictures films like "Jiro Dreams of Sushi" (pictured) are now heading to Hulu. Image: Magnolia Pictures

Hulu announced today that it has a new pay-TV window deal in place with Magnolia Pictures.

The new output licensing agreement will give Hulu the pay one window streaming rights to Magnolia films after their theatrical runs. Hulu expects future releases will begin streaming on the service in the second half of 2017.

In addition to future releases, the Magnolia deal will help fill out Hulu’s catalog with films including "Man on Wire," "Food, Inc.," "Jiro Dreams of Sushi," "The Queen of Versailles," "Blackfish," "Force Majeure," "A Royal Affair and A War," "Melancholia," "Let the Right One In," "13 Assassins," "Tangerine" and "Viva."

“As we continue investing in the most valued and sought-after content, films are essential to that mix,” said Craig Erwich, head of content at Hulu, in a statement. “Magnolia Pictures continuously releases thought-provoking and award winning titles that we know our viewers will love.”

“We are very proud and excited to have struck such a meaningful partnership with a great company like Hulu," said Eamonn Bowles, president of Magnolia Pictures, in a statement. "We look forward to the continued mutual growth of our companies.”

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For Hulu, the Magnolia deal fits in with the SVOD’s current strategy to “double down on film programming.” Earlier this month, Hulu announced an agreement with the Walt Disney Company, which owns 30% of Hulu, for streaming rights to films including "The Nightmare Before Christmas," "Mulan," "Pocahontas," "Hercules," "Sister Act" and "Air Bud."

Like Epix before it, Magnolia is moving its films to Hulu after its distribution deal with Netflix was not renewed. Netflix, which intends to spend $6 billion this year on content, continues to shift focus away from licensing deals toward original content.

"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," said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos at the time of the Epix deal lapsing. "Through our original films and some innovative licensing arrangements with the movie studios, we are aiming to build a better movie experience for you."