Sky Cinema launches new original movies
James R | On 26, Jan 2018
Sky is taking a leaf out of Netflix’s book and moving into the production of original movies.
The UK broadcaster has long been home to an impressive array of exclusive content, following deals with Showtime and HBO. In recent years, though, it’s increasingly been investing its own branded content, with co-productions and original series, such as the recently launched Britannia. Now, it’s taking the same approach to feature films. By acquiring exclusive rights and commissioning original movie productions, Sky will start producing Sky Cinema Originals, boosting its existing line-up of 1,000 moves on-demand.
As part of this move, Sky plans to show its original films in cinemas at the same time as they become available for Sky Cinema customers. Day-and-date releases, however, have often proven elusive to Netflix, as exhibitors are scared of potentially cannibalising their box office takings – the indie distributor Curzon, who also own their own VOD platform (Curzon Home Cinema) and their own theatrical venues, has proven the most prolific day-and-date strategist, not only premiering their own titles simultaneously online and on the big screen, but also partnering up with Netflix for limited cinema releases on titles such as Okja, Mudbound and Beasts of No Nation.
Sky, though, will be hoping to appease any concerns by promoting the cinema releases to its customers and throwing its marketing power behind each title.
Ian Lewis, Group Director of Sky Cinema, says: “Sky Cinema already offers Hollywood hits, cult classics and local legends, and with Sky Cinema Original Films we’re going to bring our customers even more laughs, shocks, tears and memories than ever before. Sky’s original content strategy has already been successful across eight genres of television – now we’re taking it to film to give our content-hungry customers even more reasons to keep coming back.”
The first film to be released will be animated comedy Monster Family,
starring Nick Frost, Emily Watson and Catherine Tate, which will hit cinemas and Sky Cinema from 2nd March. Here’s a trailer:
Introducing Sky Cinema Original Films. In cinemas at the same time as they become available on Sky Cinema.
— Sky Cinema (@SkyCinemaUK) January 26, 2018
It will be followed in April by Hurricane Heist, a new action thriller from director Rob Cohen. The movie, which has held research screenings in London this week, sees thieves attempt a massive heist against the US Treasury as a Category 5 hurricane approaches one of its Mint facilities. Sci-fi crime thriller Anon and British production Final Score will come later this year.
They will all be available on Sky Cinema, which already premieres a new film every day. That is available for £10 per month to Sky customers. Non-Sky customers, meanwhile, can get a NOW Cinema Membership through NOW and pay £9.99 a month with no contract to stream the whole catalogue on-demand. For more information, click here.