News: The Death of FilmStruck

In an unprecedented move that comes as a blow to cinephiles keen on the obscure, foreign-language, independent and arthouse circuit without immediate access to the indie film theater scene, Turner Classic Movies and WarnerMedia’s streaming service FilmStruck will be shut down on November 29, 2018, due to insufficient subscribers. 

Home of the Criterion Collection streaming program and having struck deals with numerous niche boutique labels such as Film Movement, First Run Features, Global Lens, Flicker Alley, Icarus Films, Janus Films, Kino, MGM, Milestone, Oscilloscope Laboratories, Shout Factory and Warner Brothers’ niche Warner Archive Instant group, the program amassed a vast library of films that more than eclipsed the amount of subscribers the service hoped to attract. 

Reactions to the program were mixed as the interface was prone to streaming problems such as buffering dropouts and audio-sync issues, yet like MUBI the service contained titles you simply weren’t going to get anywhere else.  As of current, the move comes on the heels of Warner Brothers and Turner Entertainment’s announcement DramaFever and Super Deluxe were being closed down on Friday, the streaming service FilmStruck posted this message:

“We regret to inform you that FilmStruck will be shutting down. Our last day of service will be November 29, 2018, and we are currently no longer enrolling new subscribers. All current FilmStruck subscribers will receive an email with details about your account and the refund process as applicable. Please see the options below for more information or email the customer service team at”

This announcement comes shortly after Turner and Warner Brothers landed international deals for the FilmStruck streaming service in the United Kingdom, France and Spain.  Time will tell whether or not the closure of the US division will invariably impact whatever plans were made to launch the service in Europe. 

- Andrew Kotwicki