Another major film distributor’s output is staying within the corporate ecosystem with a pact at the sibling streamer. AMC Networks-owned IFC Films has signed Pay 1 (post-theater window) output deal with AMC+ as part of AMC Networks’ efforts to boost its flagship streaming platform.
Beginning May 6, AMC+ is launching Friday night movie night, featuring a new feature direct from theaters, every Friday, from IFC Films, IFC Midnight, RLJE Films and Shudder, all sister businesses of the streamer. The films will be available on AMC+ 90 days after their theatrical release and, in some cases, day and date with their premiere in theaters.
The initiative kicks off May 6 with crime drama Clean, starring Adrien Brody and RZA, followed by revenge thriller Catch the Fair One on May 13, Riley Stearns’ Sundance pic Dual, starring Karen Gillan and Aaron Paul on May 20, and The Banquet, from Shudder and IFC Midnight, on May 27. The last Friday of the month will be branded “The Final Friday” and devoted to a new horror film from Shudder, which will also continue to acquire select titles in partnership with IFC Films and RLJE Films.
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IFC Films’ pay-cable output deal had been at Showtime for a long time, with Hulu joining in 2018 to take post-theatrical streaming rights.
AMC+ is launching the movie night after getting a viewership spike when it introduced theatrical movies on the platform last year. It is the result of a new agreement with AMC Networks Film Group, comprised of IFC Films, IFC Midnight and RLJE Films, through which AMC+ will be the exclusive streaming home of the company’s full slate of films following theatrical and digital distribution, 90 days after release.
IFC Films and its sister businesses with AMC Networks bought a total of seven films at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Another seven films were acquired at this year’s SXSW Film Festival. All 14 films are bound for AMC+ through the new agreement and expanded movie distribution through the streamer.
“AMC+ subscribers love great storytelling. From heart-pounding thrillers to heartfelt character studies, our members enjoy discovering and recommending the latest in television and film – as evidenced by tremendous engagement we saw around our Friday night film releases last year,” said Courtney Thomasma, general manager of AMC+. “Expanding our film offering was the next logical step in continuing to serve and grow our audience. The combination of an unbeatable weekly line-up of exclusive new movies from IFC Films, RLJE Films and Shudder, plus the biggest year for original programming in our company’s history, provides an incredible array of entertainment and value for our streaming subscribers.”
Late last year, AMC+ experimented with exclusive streaming premieres every Friday in the month of November and into December, which resulted in the three most-watched films on AMC+ last year, led by the breakout dark holiday feature Silent Night from RLJE Films, starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Goode. The slate outperformed popular library title movies in both viewership and acquisition, with user engagement ranking among even the top original series on AMC+, according to the streamer.
“We are thrilled to make AMC+ the exclusive streaming destination for the award-winning slate of movies from IFC Films and IFC Midnight,” said Arianna Bocco, President of IFC Films. “For over two decades, IFC Films has lead the industry in developing diversified distribution strategies for independent cinema, bringing audiences the best in global and American independent film. We are proud to continue this history of innovation and give audiences more ways to discover our incredible library on AMC+.”
AMC Networks finished 2021 with a combined 9 million subscribers across all of its streaming services. The company is projecting to have between 20 and 25 million subscribers in 2025.
Upcoming Friday night movies on AMC+ are:
• May 6, Clean, a crime drama starring Oscar-winner Adrien Brody and RZA. A garbage collector (Brody) is sucked into the orbit of a local crime boss and must face the violence of his past to find redemption in this bloody thrill ride. Brody served as the co-writer of the film and composed the score.
• May 13, Catch the Fair One, a revenge thriller starring Spirt Award nominee and boxing champion Kali Reis that is currently 94% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. The film from director Josef Kubota Wladyka follows a Native American boxer who embarks on the fight of her life when she goes in search of her missing sister. It is produced by Oscar winner Mollye Asher (Nomadland) and executive produced by Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler).
• May 20, Dual, writer/director Riley Stearns’ latest release from the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, starring Karen Gillan (Doctor Who) and Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad). A woman opts for a cloning procedure after she receives a terminal diagnosis. Following an unexpected recovery, her attempts to have her clone decommissioned fail, leading to a court-mandated duel to the death. This title is appearing on AMC+ just 35 days after its theatrical release by RLJE Films.
• May 27, A Banquet, “The Final Friday” exclusive from Shudder and IFC Midnight, directed by Ruth Paxton, starring Sienna Guillory and Jessica Alexander. Widowed mother Holly (Guillory) is radically tested when her teenage daughter Betsey (Alexander) experiences a profound enlightenment and insists that her body is no longer her own, but in service to a higher power.
The exclusive film lineup joins original series coming to AMC+ this year, including the final season of The Walking Dead, the sixth and final season of Better Call Saul, returning favorites Kevin Can F**K Himself and Gangs of London and new series including 61st Street, Dark Winds, Moonhaven, Tales of the Walking Dead and, later this year, the first two series in an expanding Anne Rice Universe, Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire and Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches.
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