Just days before Sunday's 84th Annual Academy Awards ceremony—where "The Artist" is up for ten awards—Netflix has clinched exclusive rights to stream the presumptive Best Picture winner before it appears on premium cable.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Netflix sewed up a deal with the film's distributor, The Weinstein Co., that will bring "The Artist" and a handful of the production company's other specialty titles to the streaming service.
Netflix's "Artist" grab represents the latest shot in the ongoing battle between the big-league Internet company and traditional cable channels like HBO and Showtime for home entertainment dominance.
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The multiyear licensing agreement—the first partnership between Netflix and TWC—also includes streaming dibs on Madonna's romantic royalty drama "W.E.," the Ralph Fiennes-helmed "Coriolanus," and the French-language war saga "Sarah's Key."
"We couldn't be happier to be working again with Harvey and Bob [Weinstein, TWC's co-chairmen], who have an unmatched track record of creating critically acclaimed and commercially successful movies," Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said.
Exclusive rights to "The Artist" and many of the Weinstein Co.'s popular foreign-language, documentary and art-house titles will beef up the service's New Releases library at a crucial moment: Netflix will lose rights to a handful of popular Walt Disney Co. movies when a three-year licensing agreement with Starz Entertainment wraps up next week.