Image Entertainment & Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Sign Multi-Year DVD/Blu-ray Distribution Deal

In the wake of the recent announcement of the upcoming Criterion Collection release of the ‘New Hollywood‘ box set, called America Lost And Found: The BBS Story, it looks like the Collection may have a chance to delve back into the Sony Pictures/Columbia Pictures catalogue, thanks to a new deal.

According to a press release, Criterion Collection distributor Image Entertainment has just struck a multi-year deal with the film studio. The deal will allow SPHE to manufacture and release any and all upcoming Image Entertainment Blu-ray and DVD releases, and in return, SPHE has licensed ‘an undisclosed’ number of films from their back log to Image for distribution.

This deal, taken along with the America Lost And Found: The BBS Story box set featuring solely Sony Pictures releases, leads me to believe that we may very well see a few more Sony Pictures releases getting the Criterion treatment. The first film that pops to mind? Well, that would have to be Wong Kar-Wai’s beautiful film, 2046, which has the makings of a Criterion release. It’s from a director already in the Collection, and is seen as a neo-sequel to a film in the Collection, In The Mood For Love, so one would have to believe that this would be a likely addition. And one could only hope. The film is a breathtaking piece of visual art, and would look mighty fine with the ‘C’ logo on the upper left hand corner of a new Blu-ray and DVD release. Honestly though, there are so many legendary films from the Sony/Columbia Pictures catalouge that would fit in the Collection. Just look at the scope of the BBS box set. That’s just the tip of one hell of an iceberg.

What films would you like to see come to the Collection from this deal? On The Waterfront? From Here To Eternity? Maybe something new like Jonathan Demme’s Rachel Getting Married (Something Wild is rumored to be joining the Collection)? What do you think?

The Image Press Release:

Image Entertainment Partners with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

CHATSWORTH, Calif., Aug 31, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) —

Image Entertainment, Inc. (OTCQB: DISK) announced today it has entered into a multi-year agreement with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Inc. (SPHE) in which SPHE will handle all manufacturing and distribution services for Image Entertainment’s Blu-ray(TM) and DVD releases. Image retains its own sales and marketing functions while leveraging Sony’s unique strength including their direct access to traditional accounts and non-traditional distribution. In a separate agreement, Sony has licensed an undisclosed number of titles to Image for distribution. The agreement was announced today by Ted Green, Image Entertainment’s Chairman and CEO.

“We are extremely pleased with this new strategic partnership with Sony,” commented Green. “Sony is innovative in its technology and is well-versed with the needs of our customers. This agreement allows us to take advantage of their state-of-the-art retail systems while retaining control of the sales and marketing. It also gives us additional quality product to distribute.”

Added Matt Brown, Executive Vice President, North America/International, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment: “We look forward to working with our partners at Image to leverage both of our vast catalogs while providing our retail customers with the best quality of service.”

Some of the classic titles included in the agreement are Sydney Pollack’s Absence of Malice (Paul Newman and Sally Field), …And Justice For All (directed by Norman Jewison and starring Al Pacino), and Adaptation (directed by Spike Jonze, starring Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep and Chris Cooper). Image Entertainment plans to release the titles on both Blu-Ray(TM) and DVD during the term of the agreement.

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  • I would like to see Otto Preminger’s “Anatomy of A Murder” (Columbia) released on CC. Also, Columbia’s “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” although, I think this one may not be something CC is interested in releasing.

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