EXCLUSIVE: Some deals on The Hateful Eight held up by home entertainment strategy, say sources.
The Weinstein Company’s Quentin Tarantino western The Hateful Eight has been the talk of the AFM all week.
Exciting cast additions, a script confined to TWC’s office, a Tarantino presentation and lofty asking prices have been followed by a number of bidding wars, with some distributors reportedly prepared to pay double digit MGs for the rights to Tarantino’s eighth film.
In a stunt Tarantino himself might have welcomed, one company even offered TWC a vial of its blood as a symbol of being prepared to give ‘their last drop’ for the film.
Other buyers have found themselves caught in holding patterns, which have made commitment to other acquisitions more difficult.
So where are the deals?
Multiple sources have told Screen that TWC is looking to get ‘creative’ in its packaging of deals with some home entertainment rights potentially being held back from distributors and TWC mulling cutting home entertainment deals directly with Netflix.
The move - which according to sources, is understandably complicating the finalisation of a number of deals - would represent a radical and innovative shift in the independent distribution landscape.
It might also account for why TWC wanted to work with independent distributors on this Tarantino film, rather than studios, who might have been even less willing to sign up to such a deal.
One financier Screen spoke to cautioned that such a move could have ‘significant and lasting consequences’ for the independent distribution sector.
Netflix remains a boon for many and a growing challenge for some others (though few industry want to admit that publicly).
Whatever your take on the online giant, their power and presence continues to permeate all facets of the industry and is ever-more present in the thinking of industry execs with every passing market.