MUBI and Curzon ink deal to stream The Souvenir and Portrait Of A Lady On Fire
James R | On 27, Oct 2019
MUBI and Curzon have broken ground this week with a radical new deal to stream two films soon after their cinema release.
Much has been debated in recent years about the merits of streaming versus the big screen, but Netflix’s Roma and Curzon’s own Curzon Home Cinema have demonstrated that it’s possible for theatrical and online distribution to work in tandem. Now, Curzon and MUBI are teaming up for a partnership that will split streaming rights across two films.
The deal started this weekend with The Souvenir, which debuted on MUBI’s subscription platform on Friday 25th October, only weeks after its 30th August day-and-date release in the UK in cinemas and on Curzon Home Cinema. The deal, the ink of which is still fresh, pushed the originally planned release of Francois Ozon’s Criminal Lovers on MUBI back a day to make room for the new acquisition.
The Souvenir sees Joanna Hogg delve into her own memories to deliver a study on privilege, artistic creation and first love, starring Honor Swinton Byrne and Tom Burke.
It will be available on MUBI until 24th November 2019, in line with the platform’s usual 30-day window, and is also available to rent on Curzon Home Cinema.
The deal follows MUBI’s acquisition of three titles fresh from the London Film Festival, with Zombi Child, Yves Saint Laurent: The Last Collection and Beanpole all streaming online this month following their big screen premieres.
MUBI and Curzon’s deal, though, will continue for a second movie next year: Céline Sciamma’s Portrait Of A Lady On Fire, which won the Queer Palme at Cannes, will be released in February 2020 by Curzon, and then launch on MUBI in April.
As part of the agreement, MUBI will have the subscription streaming exclusive for 18 months in the UK and Ireland, should it wish to stream them again for its subscribers for another 30-day window later, and will also have the exclusive transaction VOD rights on Apple TV and iTunes for the same period.
The deal builds upon an existing relationship between the two arthouse-oriented players, with Curzon titles previously available on MUBI and MUBI’s free-cinema-ticket initiative, MUBI Go, also including The Souvenir this summer. Their partnership also follows the closure of subscription service FilmStruck, which Curzon was linked to. If this exploration of the SVOD space proves a success, the independent distributor could well make such an arrangement a long-term deal.
“By working together Curzon and MUBI are able to take a more innovative approach to the distribution model. Releasing The Souvenir and Portrait Of A Lady On Fire in cinemas and on Curzon Home Cinema means we are able to deliver to MUBI within a timeframe that works for our customers and their subscribers,” a Curzon spokesperson told Deadline.
“The Souvenir is the shortest window we’ve ever had and is a great example of how we are working with partners like Curzon to evolve traditional distribution models so that we are able to share great films like this with MUBI subscribers, and so soon after theatrical release,” added MUBI’s VP of Marketing Jon Barrenechea.
“An aching articulation of dignified destruction” is how we described The Souvenir in our review.
For more on what’s coming soon to MUBI, see our weekly MUBI Digest.