Weinstein Company Buys 25% of Starz Media

The deal gives Weinsteins a new home entertainment deal with Anchor Bay as Liberty Media continues to reduce its stake in the movie business

The Weinstein Company has bought 25 percent of Starz Media, which includes the Anchor Bay Entertainment home entertainment company, for an undisclosed figure, TheWrap has learned.

Starting with "The King's Speech," Weinstein Company films for DVD and digital sell through will be released through Anchor Bay.

Previously TWC home entertainment was handled through Sony, a deal that expired in September.

The move is the latest to reduce Liberty Media's stake in the movie business. The media conglomerate last year sold Overture Film's marketing and distribution to Relativity, while shutting down the production arm. Liberty also sold  the animation company that was part of Starz Media.

The deal was struck between TWC Co-chairman Harvey Weinstein, Starz chief Chris Albrecht, Anchor Bay President Bill Clark who runs Anchor Bay and Liberty Media, owned by John Malone.

Here is the full press release, more to come:

Starz Sells 25% Equity Stake in Starz Media to The Weinstein Company;

Anchor Bay and TWC Enter into Multi-Year, Multi-Platform Entertainment/Distribution Agreement

 

Englewood, Colo. and New York, NY (January 4, 2011) – In a significant strategic partnership within the ever-changing home/digital entertainment market, Starz, LLC has agreed to sell The Weinstein Company (TWC) a 25% stake in Starz Media, LLC, a programming production, home entertainment and international TV distribution company which includes Anchor Bay Entertainment and other TV/home entertainment assets.  Separately, Anchor Bay has entered into a multi-year domestic distribution agreement for new theatrical content from TWC and its Dimension Films label.

 

The agreements were announced today by Starz, LLC President and CEO Chris Albrecht and TWC Co-Chairmen Bob and Harvey Weinstein.  Financial terms of the strategic partnership were not disclosed.

 

The home/digital entertainment deal, which does not include television rights but spans Blu-ray™, DVD and EST/VOD/PPV electronic/digital distribution, covers up to 20 TWC and Dimension titles per year including the seven-time Golden Globe-nominated Tom Hooper drama The King’s Speech, starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter; Derek Cianfrance’s Blue Valentine, starring Golden Globe nominees Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling; and John Wells’ feature directorial debut Company Men, starring Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Costner and Chris Cooper.  Other titles include the Kristin Scott Thomas drama Sarah’s Key, upcoming sequels in the successful Scream, Spy Kids, and Scary Movie franchises, and new installments in the Hellraiser, Halloween, and Children of the Corn film series.



“The distribution agreement leverages the scale of the strong Anchor Bay home entertainment business and the Starz Digital Media distribution platform. The Weinstein Company new release content is a quality addition to our distribution pipeline of new releases from Anchor Bay Films and Starz Originals,” Albrecht said.  “Harvey and Bob Weinstein are terrific business partners and we are very pleased to have them as part of Starz Media.”

 

“We are thrilled to partner with Starz and appreciate the commitment of Liberty Media in bolstering Anchor Bay, allowing it to become a much bigger player in non-theatrical distribution,” offered Bob and Harvey Weinstein in a joint statement.  “We hope this strategic partnership is a first step in not only making Anchor Bay a home for our product, but in potentially housing other companies’ product as well, giving quality independent films the kind of care needed in today’s marketplace.”