Hulu has closed an output deal that will make it the exclusive streaming home for all future documentary releases from IFC Films, which will include projects from IFC Films, Sundance Selects and IFC Midnight.
The multi-year agreement announced Wednesday by the companies marks the first time IFC’s documentary films will be available on Hulu within the first window following their initial release in theaters and on-demand.
Any shift in the landscape of movie distribution periods is closely watched by the industry, as the studios, indie filmmakers and movie theaters grapple with the idea of getting films to consumers more quickly while protecting the exhibitors’ theatrical returns. Currently, there’s typically a three-month window between the release of first-run movies and their availability on VOD, with streaming after that.
The first IFC documentary feature to premiere on Hulu will be “King Georges,” in theaters and on-demand Feb 26, and available on Hulu this fall. It captures Georges Perrier, the 67-year-old owner of Le Bec-Fin, one of the finest French restaurants in the country, as he prepares to sell after more four decades.
“City of Gold,” a documentary that follows Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold, will also become exclusive to Hulu following its theatrical release on March 11. In addition, the deal will bring the Sundance Selects documentary “Weiner,” about Anthony Weiner and his failed New York City mayoral campaign, to Hulu following its run on Showtime.
“Hulu is the ideal partner for first window exhibition and will provide a terrific opportunity in promoting each films’ theatrical release,” said IFC Lisa Schwartz, executive v.p., distribution, operations and business development.
The agreement represents an expansion of Hulu’s partnership with AMC Networks, which owns and operates IFC Films, Sundance Selects and IFC Midnight as sister labels. Last year, Hulu and AMC Networks announced an output deal for the exclusive streaming video on demand rights to new and upcoming primetime scripted drama and comedy series from AMC, IFC TV, BBC AMERICA, SundanceTV and WE tv.