Sony Pictures films from Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Classics, TriStar, and Screen Gems will remain first-run exclusive to Starz-included cable packages through 2021, Sony Pictures and Starz announced this morning. The deal was previously set to expire with the closing of 2016's box office, but Sony and Starz apparently were cozy enough to ink another five years on the contract; it's unclear how much money changed hands to make this happen.
Starz boasts a sextet of films headed to its pay television channels this year from Sony Pictures, including The Amazing Spider-Man and Zero Dark Thirty -- digital streaming services like Netflix have been stripping away many cable television first-run deals as consumers migrate to streaming services from traditional cable plans. Starz itself once pushed films to Netflix, but famously ended that deal in late 2011. Disney, however, recently signed just such a deal with Netflix, promising first-run exclusivity starting in 2016. And us, well, we just want a stable place to watch hit John Travolta vehicles like Wild Hogs and Battlefield Earth. Is that so much to ask?