The big Hollywood deals, they keep a-happening. Yesterday, we reported that independent film studio A24 was entertaining a possible sale. Now comes the news that Lionsgate has acquired a partial stake in Spyglass Media Group, a production company with a history dating back over twenty years.
Deadline reports that Lionsgate “has acquired the vast majority of the Spyglass Media Group’s feature film library of approximately 200 titles and formed a strategic content partnership.” The deal will give Lionsgate a 20% overall stake in Spyglass. Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer had this say about the agreement:
“This agreement continues to grow our valuable portfolio of IP while partnering us with Gary Barber, one of the leading entrepreneurs and content creators in the business. It is a win/win deal that creates significant incremental value for both companies while continuing to add to our global content distribution platform at a time when the demand for premium content is greater than ever.”
How This Deal Might Affect Your Favorite Genre Film Franchises
Quentin Tarantino is one of those filmmakers who inspires such brand loyalty among cinephiles that you could almost say he’s a franchise unto himself. Three of his movies, Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained, and The Hateful Eight, are listed among the titles that Lionsgate has acquired. Deadline also notes that Spyglass’s major assets include Hulu’s Hellraiser remake and the upcoming Scream reboot/sequel.
In addition to awards-friendly films like Fruitvale Station, The King’s Speech, Silver Linings Playbook, and The Butler, there are also a fair number of other legit franchise films that will enter Lionsgate’s library along with Tarantino’s, such as Scream 4, Scary Movie 5, Spy Kids 4, and Paddington. It’s conceivable that this deal between Lionsgate and Spyglass would affect the streaming availability of those films in the future. They could all end up on the same service, and if you don’t have that service or don’t own copies of the movies yourself, you might need to start yet another new streaming subscription.
This is the downside to streaming: it has scattered our favorite movies across platforms so that there’s really no one-stop-shopping solution anymore unless you’re still invested in physical media. Even then, you might have to contend with films for which there is no home media release.
Personally, I’m still waiting for Netflix to release The Irishman for sale digitally so that I can add it to my iTunes collection of Scorsese films. That may never happen, and for all I know, some of my previous iTunes purchases could suddenly vanish from the ol’ library cloud one day like evanescent dreams. In the past, fears have circulated that this scenario could indeed happen to users since when you purchase a movie on iTunes, you’re technically only purchasing the license to view it as long as Apple holds the distribution rights to it.
Lionsgate’s library of Spyglass titles won’t necessarily land on Apple TV+, but the prospect of seeing it wielded as an asset in the streaming wars isn’t exactly thrilling.
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