The structure of the deal means Lionsgate will release the film theatrically through specialty film distribution label Lionsgate Premiere in North America before Hulu begins streaming it exclusively.
Streaming platforms entry into the feature film market has shaken up existing releasing models. Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video are already exclusive movie buyers.
Hulu’s first film, Joshy, premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. It comes from writer-director Jeff Baena (Life After Beth) and features a cast including Thomas Middleditch, Adam Pally, Alex Ross Perry, Nick Kroll, Brett Gelman, Lisa Edelstein, Lauren Weedman, Aubrey Plaza, Alison Brie and Paul Reiser.
The comedy tackles the emotionally inept nature of male bonding, following a man who decides to press on with his bachelor party plans after his engagement ends badly.
Liz Destro, Michael Zakin and Adam Pally produce, with producer StarStream’s Kim Leadford and Charles Bonan executive producing along with Bow and Arrow Entertainment’s Michael Sherman and Matthew Perniciaro.
WME Global negotiated the agreement of behalf of StarStream.
Hulu and Lionsgate have a long-running content relationship, including deals for original series.
“The extension of our alliance into film acquisitions signals a new growth opportunity for both companies and Joshy is a great movie to kick it off,” said Lionsgate president of worldwide television and digital distribution Jim Packer.
“Jeff Baena and his creative team have made a hilarious and irreverent film that we believe will resonate with moviegoers and online audiences alike.”