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Netflix to Invest $45 Million in French and European Cinema

The 3-year deal includes an agreement for the films to premiere in French theaters before debuting on the streamer 15 months later

Netflix has struck a three-year deal with France’s film guilds to invest €40 million ($45 million) each year to finance French and European movies. The deal also marks the first agreement between a global streamer and the French film industry that will cut their theatrical window in half.

Roughly 4% of Netflix’s annual revenue made in France will now go toward financing movies made in France and Europe, with at least €30 million reserved for French-language films specifically. The deal was first announced back in January and is now official.

What’s more, these movies will now be able to premiere on Netflix 15 months after they first premiere in French cinemas, which is cut down from a window of 36 months. Netflix will also have a seven-month exclusive window on all those films.

France’s strict windowing rules have in the past proved contentious whenever Netflix wished to premiere any of its movies at the Cannes Film Festival, which required that movies that debuted there got a lengthy run in French theaters before hitting streaming.

“This agreement is a new step towards our virtuous integration in the unique French cinema ecosystem. It reflects both our constructive contribution to the AVMS negotiation process and our commitment to be part of the French cultural exception,” the streamer said in a statement. “Netflix is now able to offer movies 15 months after their release in theaters. This is a significant improvement for our members who had to wait for 36 months until now. Netflix will however continue to promote an earlier window to better reflect consumers’ actual viewing habits.”

Netflix has also made a provision to invest at least 17% of its annual contribution in lower budgeted films, or those with a budget under €4 million, and they’ll also have to invest in at least 10 movies in the pre-financing stage.

The deal was made with BLIC (Bureau de liaison des industries cinématographiques), BLOC (Bureau de liaison des organisations du cinema) and ARP (Société civile des auteurs réalisateurs producteurs), and it’s the only one a streamer has yet made with the three French film guilds, and they’re the only European country to make such a deal with any streaming platform.

Netflix previously signed a similar deal with French broadcasting companies for investments in both series and movies.