echo boomers trailer

Saban and Roku have signed a new streaming deal.

Several of Saban Films’ theatrical features will be available to stream for free on Roku Channel within three months of their theatrical release. The first movie to be included in the new deal is Echo Boomers, the Patrick Schwarzenegger-starring crime drama in which a bunch of debt-ridden college graduates decide to rob rich people.

The streaming wars continue to heat up, and it’s not just major studios that are entering the ring to battle for the future of entertainment. Now Roku is getting in on the action, teaming up with Saban Films to give audiences free access to some theatrical movies within three months of when they debut in theaters. Echo Boomers is first up, arriving on The Roku Channel on June 15, 2021. Other films involved include Happily, BenDavid Grabinski’s feature directorial debut that stars Joel McHale, Kerry Bishé, Stephen Root, and more; the farmer drama Percy vs Goliath, which stars Christopher Walken, Christina Ricci, and Zach Braff; and a yet-to-be-released football drama called Under the Stadium Lights, which stars Laurence Fishburne and Milo Gibson.

Notable Saban Films movies from years past include The Girl With All the Gifts, War on Everyone, Braven, Come to Daddy, and Jay and Silent Bob Reboot.

The Wrap reports that this new deal between Saban Films and Roku is the first pay-one licensing agreement for Roku, and that The Roku Channel “reached an estimated 70 million people in U.S. households with its latest growth in Q1 of this year. The ad-supported service has 40,000 free films and 190+ free live linear television channels.”

“Streaming has become an incredible way to experience movie-making magic from the comfort of your own home and we are thrilled to bring an extraordinary lineup of entertainment to The Roku Channel and America’s No. 1 TV streaming platform,” Saban Films president Bill Bromiley said in a statement.

“Saban Films is a great partner with a history of creating standout films,” said Roku’s VP of programming Rob Holmes. “This first-of-its-kind agreement allows us to bring these compelling films exclusively to our large, engaged audience for free, and to build upon the incredible growth of The Roku Channel.”

With HBO Max releasing all of WB’s 2021 films day-and-date, Paramount+ putting films on its service 45 days after they hit theaters, Disney+ utilizing its Premier Access tier, and Netflix’s continued streaming dominance, it’s easy to see why lower-end companies like these need to shake things up if they want to compete. But frankly, the quality of many of these Saban films has been pretty lacking, so I’m curious to see how big of a splash this will really make.

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