Netflix is preparing to tighten its vise-like stranglehold on the market for streaming movies and TV on the Internet, not that that’s a bad thing. The online rental service’s Watch Instantly feature is insanely popular for a reason, with a thousands-strong library of both popular and obscure offerings that can be viewed with the click of a button for a low monthly fee.
Now the company is closing in on a deal with Miramax that will make the studio’s catalog of more than 700 films available for future streaming, a source familiar with the situation tells Reuters. The agreement is expected to be worth “well north of” $100 million over the next five years. Miramax was of course recently purchased from Disney by Filmyard Holdings for $660 million.
The studio’s back catalog is quite impressive, especially material from the early days, before the Disney acquisition. The studio was founded by siblings Bob and Harvey Weinstein, who are now again involved with Miramax thanks to a deal between Filmyard and their The Weinstein Company. The brothers Weinstein are recognized for helping launch the careers of luminaries like Quentin Tarantino and Kevin Smith, and ushering greats like Pulp Fiction, Clerks, The Crow, Shakespeare In Love, Good Will Hunting, Flirting With Disaster and The English Patient, to name just a few, into theaters. All of this is now potential fodder for Netflix Watch Instantly streaming, assuming the deal goes through.