Netflix cuts down movie offering as deal with distributor Epix ends

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Netflix subscribers will no longer be able to watch films including the Hunger Games and Transformers series on the streaming service after it ended a distribution deal.

The company had offered movies including “Hunger Games: Catching Fire” and “World War Z” through an agreement with Epix, which provided films from studios including Paramount, Lionsgate and MGM.

Epix has now struck a deal with Netflix rival Hulu.

“Hulu already offers some of the best and biggest titles in television programming, but our subscribers have been asking us for more, and more recent, big movies. We listened,” said Craig Erwich, SVP, Head of Content, Hulu.

Netflix said it will concentrate instead on exclusive film rights and original film acquisitions, including pay-TV rights for Disney content starting from 2016.

“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 Ted Sarandos, chief content officer of Netflix.

“Through our original films and some innovative licensing arrangements with the movie studios, we are aiming to build a better movie experience for you.”

To cheer up its users, Netflix announced a few exclusives including a war drama by Cary Fukunaga, director of the True Detective series, Ridiculous Six, the first of four comedies from Adam Sandler, as well A Very Murray Christmas in which Sofia Coppola directed Bill Murray.

Starting next year, Netflix will also be the exclusive US pay-TV home of the latest theatrical movies from the The Walt Disney Company, including Pixar, Lucas film – home of Star Wars – and Avengers creator Marvel movies.

The majority of these films will arrive on Netflix faster than arrangements had previously allowed.

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September 1, 2015 |
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