Hulu will become the new post-theatrical pay one window for Roadside Attractions over the next couple of years. Under the terms of the deal, Hulu gets the exclusive U.S. streaming rights to upcoming Roadside Attractions films like “Call Jane” and “Gigi & Nate.”
Hulu, currently owned two-thirds by Disney and one-third by Comcast, has been a great friend to arthouse cinema and independent film. The streaming platform’s pre-existing output deals with Neon, IFC, and Magnolia, as well as its in-house relationship with Searchlight, keeps the distributors in business. The only other major entity with similar deals is Showtime, which carries A24 and Bleecker Street.
Find out much more about the “in flux” economics of such streaming indie-film distribution deals here from IndieWire’s Eric Kohn. Disney, by the way, is contractually obligated to buy out Comcast’s stake in Hulu in January 2024; the minimum valuation for the profitable streaming service (still a rarity!) is $27.5 billion.
“Our new relationship with Hulu is a win for everyone — but especially the talented producers whose films we acquire for distribution,” Roadside Co-presidents Eric d’Arbeloff and Howard Cohen said Thursday in a joint statement. “It means we at Roadside can focus on maximizing our films in theaters with the confidence they will find a corresponding home on Hulu’s premium streaming platform, which delivers the industry’s highest caliber and most entertaining independent cinema.”
“Delivering great storytelling is a core objective shared by Hulu and Roadside Attractions,” Hulu President Joe Earley added. “We are fortunate that their highly anticipated new titles will be available to our viewers as a part of our industry-leading independent film slate.”
The deal was negotiated by Roadside’s Cohen and Angel An, Lionsgate’s Ryan Lowerre and Dillon Siler. (Lionsgate owns a minority stake in Roadside and distributes Roadside’s films in U.S. home entertainment; as part of that pact, the studio negotiates Roadside’s Pay One theatrical output deals.)
Financial terms of the Hulu-Roadside deal were not disclosed.
Roadside Attractions was founded in 2003. Since then, its films have grossed more than $500 million and gotten 23 Oscar nominations. Roadside recently released Terence Davies’ “Benediction,” “The Forgiven” starring Ralph Fiennes and Jessica Chastain, and John Patton Ford’s Sundance 2022 Competition title “Emily The Criminal” starring Aubrey Plaza and Theo Rossi. Roadside is the company behind “Judy,” “Manchester by the Sea,” “The Skeleton Twins,” “Mud,” “Winter’s Bone,” and “Super Size Me,” among many others.
“Call Jane” is Phyllis Nagy’s feature directorial debut starring Elizabeth Banks and Sigourney Weaver about an underground group of abortion activists in 1968 Chicago willing to break the law to support women’s health. “Gigi & Nate,” starring Charlie Rowe, Marcia Gay Harden, and Jim Belushi. Inspired by true events, “Gigi & Nate” tells the story of Nate Gibson, a young disabled man who regains hope via his relationship with his service animal, a charming and curious capuchin monkey named Gigi.