In a deal that will cut out home entertainment rivals likeNetflix, Blockbuster has signed an exclusive US rental rights DVD deal with TheWeinstein Company (TWC).

Under the agreement, which commences on Jan 1 2007, TWC andBlockbuster will share rental revenues from TWC's theatrical anddirect-to-video titles (DTV).

Genius Products will provide distribution services to TWC inconnection with the deal, which effectively shuts out Netflix from handling anyTWC product until 2010.

Blockbuster will enjoy three years of rental exclusivity for eachtitle released, in exchange for paying TWC a minimum guarantee, determined bybox office performance, for each theatrical release, and based on theacquisition or production costs for each DTV title.

The Weinsteins said they were attracted to Blockbuster because itsbusiness model combined shops and online rentals. The agreement doesn't includeexclusive rights to retail sell-thru sales of TWC's home entertainment product.

The first titles will include Dixie Chicks documentary Shut Up& Sing, EmilioEstevez' all-star drama Bobby, Beatrix Potter biopic Miss Potter starring Renee Zellweger, The NannyDiaries, and QuentinTarantino and Robert Rodriguez' horror double bill Grindhouse.

"We are very excited about our alliance with Blockbuster, aswe believe it will bring our company increased access to millions ofconsumers," Bob and Harvey Weinstein said.

"Blockbuster is an industry leader of in-home entertainmentand is highly committed to their customers' experience. As movie lovers, wehave always aimed to produce and acquire films that people will enjoy, so wefeel that this agreement is a win-win for TWC, Blockbuster and for consumers.

"Bob and Harvey Weinstein are legendary producers whosemovies have long been customer favorites at Blockbuster," Blockbusterchairman and chief executive officer John Antioco said.

"As the exclusive rental provider, we'll be the only place,in-store and online, that can guarantee customers a wide selection of TheWeinstein Company films available for rent."

"This strategicalliance exemplifies what we believe to be one of our major competitiveadvantages," Genius president and chief executive officer TrevorDrinkwater. "We believe that we offer a unique ability for our contentpartners to explore groundbreaking agreements with our retail partners."