For all the devastated cineasts who bemoaned the death of FilmStruck, the classic movie streaming service operated by WarnerMedia until late last year, there is now a reprieve: The Criterion Collection has announced that its new FilmStruck replacement, The Criterion Channel, will launch on April 8. The service will offer its full library–more than 1,000 films–of the famed collection of classic and arthouse films.
The service was quickly put together in the aftermath of the uproar that erupted when WarnerMedia announced last October that it was shuttering FilmStruck, a relatively small service, but one with an impassioned fan base. The move was part of the newly formed corporation’s initiative to shut down niche streaming services as it prepares to unveil a much broader set of OTT packages later this year.
When the news was announced, many filmmakers took to Twitter to express their anger and sign a “Keep FilmStruck Alive” Change.org petition. Among the protestors were directors Steven Spielberg and Edgar Wright.
But rather than keep FilmStruck alive, WarnerMedia decided to partner with The Criterion Collection to create a new service. (WarnerMedia will include the Criterion library as part of its streaming offering.)
The Criterion Channel will offer a free, 30-day trial and reduced pricing for those who sign up before its launch. Those early members will pay $10 a month or $90 a year. Those who sign up after launch will pay $11 a month or $90 for the year.
Among the programming that will be available on the service will be Sunday Spotlight, a movie marathon featuring a different director, star, genre, or theme of the week. There will also be Adventures in Moviegoing, in which a guest programmer will select titles. In addition, Criterion says to expect special features, archival footage, interviews, and original documentaries to supplement its library.
The service will be available on desktop computers, connected TV services like Roku, Amazon Fire, and Apple TV, and iOS and Android devices.