Sky aiming for Netflix with new channel for 'original movies'

Ben Arnold

Sky is launching a new channel which will see movies screened on the same day as their release at the cinema.

In a bid to join competitors like Netflix and Amazon Studios, Sky Cinema Original Films will both commission and produce original movies, as well as acquire new movies set for the big screen.

It will also make 1000 movies available to watch on demand.

The first movie to arrive on the service, once it launches in March, will be Monster Family, an animated comedy featuring Emily Watson, Nick Frost, Catherine Tate and Jason Isaacs among the voice cast.

It will be followed by action movie The Hurricane Heist, starring Toby Kebbell and directed by The Fast and The Furious director Rob Cohen.

There will also be sci-fi thriller Anon, with Clive Owen and Amanda Seyfried, and Dave Bautista-fronted actioner Final Score later this year.

“Sky Cinema already offers Hollywood hits, cult classics and local legends, and with Sky Cinema Original Films we’re going to bring our customers even more laughs, shocks, tears and memories than ever before,” said Ian Lewis, Group Director of Sky Cinema.

“Sky’s original content strategy has already been successful across eight genres of television – now we’re taking it to film to give our content-hungry customers even more reasons to keep coming back.”

It’s not the broadcaster’s only strategy to combat competition from other streaming services.

It recently announced the launch of a new smart stick – like Amazon’s Fire Stick – to work with its Now TV streaming service.

The news comes after Netflix reported that it reached 117 million users worldwide last year, and will spend up to $8 billion on new content for this year.

A quarter of that figure will be ploughed into original programming.

Read more
Walking Dead mid-season premiere will be extra long
Protests erupt over Bollywood movie
Morgan Freeman tells of audience member at SAG Awards