LOS ANGELES -- Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Relativity Media, LLC today announced a long term agreement through which major theatrically released films owned by Relativity will be licensed directly and exclusively to Netflix for streaming to its subscribers during the "pay TV window." Traditionally, these films have flowed through Relativity's studio releasing partners to output deals with premium TV channels.

The deal marks a continued shift in the distribution of major motion pictures in the U.S. Under the agreement, an increasing amount of popular contemporary movies previously encumbered by pay TV agreements with premium channels such as HBO, Showtime and Starz will become available to be streamed from Netflix months - and not years - after their release on DVD. It will be the first time that studio quality theatrical feature films will be streamed via subscription by Netflix instead of being broadcast by the traditional pay providers, and it opens up a new revenue stream for such movies.

Among the first wave of films covered under the Netflix-Relativity deal are "The Fighter," starring Christian Bale, Mark Wahlberg and Amy Adams and distributed by Paramount Pictures, and "Skyline," co-directed by the Brothers Strause and released by Rogue Pictures and Universal Studios. Both films are scheduled for theatrical release later this year and to be available at Netflix in early 2011. Also on tap for Netflix are Rogue Pictures' Nicolas Cage action/thriller "Season of the Witch" and "Movie 43," written and directed by Peter Farley. Both are set to hit theaters this year as well.

Relativity has financed, co-financed or produced more than 200 features, generating more than $13 billion in worldwide box office revenue. Fifty Relativity films have become "Top 10" box office releases during the past two years. Current Relativity theatrical releases include "Robin Hood," "Get Him to the Greek" and "Grown Ups." Relativity produces and/or finances between 20 and 30 pictures a year, and it has more than 10 "single picture" movies - films it is financing and producing fully - that are scheduled to be released over the next 12 months.

Broadening the range and appeal of content available for Netflix members to watch instantly is among the company's top priorities, and the agreement with Relativity is a meaningful step in building the company's streaming offer.

"Our continued goal is to expand the breadth and timeliness of films and TV shows available to stream on Netflix," said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer for Netflix. "Historically, the rights to distribute these films are pre-sold to pay TV for as long as nine years after their theatrical release. Through our partnership with Relativity, these films will start to become available to our members just months after their DVD release."

Added Mr. Sarandos: "Relativity has produced and financed some of the biggest and best films released in the last few years. We are thrilled to partner with them on their exciting upcoming slate of films and to be part of each other's ongoing success."

"We have always been about finding new ways to grow and monetize our business," said Ryan Kavanaugh, Relativity's CEO. "This clearly is a natural step in the evolution of the movie business and opens up a whole new world of revenue and marketing opportunities. Netflix has certainly made its mark, with a service that reaches over 13 million people and allows consumers to have what they want, when they want it. We have a shared vision, and this deal marks a significant change in our industry."

"Consumer demand and interest in new platforms are evolving nearly as quickly as the technology," said Michael J. Joe, Relativity's president. "The growing number of Netflix subscribers streaming first run movies is very exciting and presents another viable option for us to maximize the long-term business behind our properties. We're delighted to partner with them on this incredible new opportunity, which has great promise for our industry-reshaping Pay TV deals going forward."

The deal was negotiated on Relativity's behalf by Mr. Joe and Andrew Marcus, the company's chief operating officer, and on behalf of Netflix by Robert Kyncl, the company's vice president of content acquisition.


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Source: Sony Pictures, Twitter

After months of speculation, Sony Pictures has just updated their official Twitter feed with the announcement that British actor Andrew Garfield has been cast as the new Spider-Man in their upcoming reboot.

Just yesterday, a flurry of speculation about actor Josh Hutcherson (Journey to the Center of the Earth) swept the web, while previous rumors leaned heavily towards Jamie Bell (Billy Elliott) and Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief).

Garfield most recently had a co-starring role alongside the late Heath Ledger in Terry Gilliam's The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus. He can be seen in the upcoming high-profile 2010 releases Never Let Me Go, co-starring Keira Knightley and Carey Mulligan, and directed by Mark Romanek, as well as The Social Network, co-starring Jesse Eisenberg and Justin Timberlake, and directed by David Fincher.

The reboot, which surprised many fans, was an abrupt announcement in the wake of slow-moving discussions over a fourth Spider-Man that would have reunited Sam Raimi, Tobey Maguire, and Kirsten Dunst. The new Spider-Man will start over, sending Peter Parker back to high school. (500) Days of Summer helmer Marc Webb is directing, and no other major roles have been cast. The Sony tentpole will open in 3D on July 3rd, 2012.

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FORT LAUDERDALE, FL -- 2010 is proving to be a banner year for Muvico Theaters as they announce the appointment of long-time friend and consultant, Neil Bretan, as their new President and Chief Executive Officer.

Neil Bretan's relationship with Muvico Theaters began with the company's inception in 1995. From then through 2008, Bretan served as Muvico's outside general counsel, representing the company in all of its major financial and real estate transactions. In early 2009, Bretan played a pivotal role in Muvico's corporate and financial restructuring, from which Muvico emerged debt-free and infused with new capital. Shortly after its restructuring, the company underwent a complete reorganization of its executive team.

Following the 2009 restructuring, Joe Amaturo, a long time investor and now sole owner of the company, brought Bretan aboard to serve as General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer. It was then that Bretan's work demonstrated that he could take the lead in bringing Muvico into the next decade. In May of 2010, when former CEO Hal Cleveland announced his departure to pursue other interests, including his continued association with Hope for the Children of Haiti, Neil Bretan was promptly promoted to President and CEO.

"Longtime friendships often payoff, and in the case of Neil and I, Neil has proven to be an able, trustworthy and talented lawyer, businessman and friend," observed Amaturo. "Neil undoubtedly knows more of the history and operational underpinnings of Muvico than anyone else I know."

Under Bretan, the company will continue to expand its geographic reach with new theaters and continue to upgrade its existing theaters with the latest and best in cinema technology. "I'm excited and pleased to have the opportunity to work with one of the greatest teams of talented and dedicated colleagues, both at our theaters and at the home office, to advance Muvico's reputation as the World's Premier Movie Experience" said Bretan.

Recently, Muvico completed multi-million dollar revamps of its Pompano 18 Theater in Pompano Beach, Florida, and its Starlight 20 complex in Tampa, Florida. Projection systems in each theater were upgraded to Sony's new 4K high-def systems, providing guests with the highest definition cinema experience available. The Sony 4k system is almost five times sharper than the most advanced home television sets on the market. In addition, Muvico has converted all of its auditoriums at its Parisian 20 Theater in West Palm Beach, Florida, to the Sony 4K projection system and has upgraded the Parisian Theater's IMAX auditorium, the only one in Palm Beach County, to a digital IMAX system. As a result of these recent improvements, Muvico's Pompano, Starlight and Parisian theaters are the only all 4K digital theaters in their respective markets.
Currently Muvico is in the process of reinvigorating its Hialeah location, adding stadium seating, all high-definition Sony 4K digital projection, new and distinctive concession items and a family entertainment center with the latest arcade and prize redemption games. It is anticipated the project will be completed in late fall 2010.

Earlier this year, Muvico unveiled a new section of its BayWalk 20 Theater in St. Petersburg, Florida, called the "The Gallery," a 21 and over environment showcasing independent and art film. The Gallery will offer reserved seating and adult beverage options such as beer and wine and true to its name, will also exhibit the work of local artists.

Muvico continues to operate nine theaters in Florida, Illinois and California, including notably its two newest theaters in Los Angeles and Chicago, each of which features premiere auditoriums and an upscale restaurant. Muvico will continue to expand its nationwide presence, with plans for a new theater in Malvern, Pennsylvania, as well as additional theaters in the greater Chicago and Los Angeles areas.

Muvico Theaters, based in Fort Lauderdale, FL now currently operates 154 screens in nine movie theater locations.


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COLUMBUS, Ga. -- Carmike Cinemas, Inc. (NASDAQ: CKEC), a leading entertainment, digital cinema and 3D motion picture presenter, today announced the launch of the latest in cutting edge theater environments in its Columbus, Georgia, Carmike 15 complex.

"The BigD-Large Format Digital Experience will feature Bigger Screens, Bigger Sound and Bigger, more Luxurious Seats providing the Ultimate Entertainment Experience", said David Passman, Carmike's President and CEO. The auditorium will include a wall to wall giant screen measuring 78 feet wide and 35 feet tall, custom luxury seating, the latest in 7.1 surround sound and DIGITAL projection for both 2D and 3D features. Carmike will premier the Ultimate Entertainment Experience with the opening of Salt, starring Angelina Jolie on Friday, July 23, 2010. Additional theatre sites participating in the initial rollout will be the Thoroughbred 20, Nashville, Tn., Carmike 15, Canton, Ga. and the Majestic 12, in Chattanooga, Tn. Plans for the BigD-Large Format Digital Experience will include approximately 24 more locations by the end of 2011.

Whether it be a movie, concert, sporting event, motivational speaker or church service, patrons will find BigD placing them at the heart of the event," said Dale Hurst, Carmike's Director of Marketing.

Carmike Cinemas has been the leader in Digital Projection and 3D technology since 2006 and is the only national circuit exclusively using DIGITAL Projection in all its theatres showing the newest Hollywood movie releases.


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