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Roku inks theatrical output deal with Lionsgate

Apr 26, 2022
Illustration of a film strip with one hundred dollar bills in each frame

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Roku has closed a multiyear theatrical output deal with Lionsgate for upcoming films, beginning with the studio's 2022 releases.

Why it matters: This is Roku's first theatrical output deal and comes as the streaming device maker is pushing more into being a content player.

  • For Lionsgate, the deal earns back some of the licensing fees the studio gave up when it moved its content from Hulu and HBO to Starz, which it owns.
  • At the same time, Lionsgate is looking to either sell or spin off Starz.

Details: The films will be available on Roku's free, ad-supported streaming channel, The Roku Channel.

  • The deal includes "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret," "John Wick: Chapter Four," "Expendables 4," "Borderlands" and "The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent."
  • It will still be a while before they land on Roku. Starz will get access to each for about 18 months after their theatrical run before they land on Roku for a shorter exclusive run.

The big picture: Roku has been ramping up its original content business as it seeks to transform into a full-fledged media company from a streaming device maker.

What's next: Roku reports its first-quarter earnings on Thursday.

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