|This article needs additional citations for verification. (May 2014)|
|Launched||September 3, 2001|
|Owned by||AXS TV LLC|
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)|
|Slogan||Original. Provocative. Independent.|
|Sister channel(s)||AXS TV|
|Available on most other U.S. cable systems||Consult your local cable provider for channel availability|
HDNet Movies is an American digital cable and satellite television network that is owned by AXS TV LLC. Launched on September 3, 2001 as a spin-off of HDNet (now AXS TV), the network features mainly theatrically released motion pictures, which are presented in high definition and without commercial interruption or editing for content.
Films broadcast on HDNet Movies vary in the year of release and genre, with a lineup of movies from the 1950s to 2000s; all films broadcast on the network were either originally shot on 35mm film and transferred to 1080i high definition or shot in the latter format. Many films shown on the network have not previously been broadcast in high definition on other broadcast and cable networks.
HDNet Movies also prominently features two programming blocks, "kidScene," a daily block that airs from 6:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Friday nights at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time dedicated to films aimed at younger audiences that also appeal to adults who grew up with certain family films featured in the lineup; and Retro, a Sunday block showcasing memorable classic movies from the 1950s through the 1970s. The network also airs monthly presentations of American films selected by the Library of Congress and the National Film Registry for historical and cultural preservation.
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HDNet Movies has received attention concerning its controversial day-and-date release strategy, mainly under co-owner Mark Cuban's film distribution company Magnolia Pictures. This strategy subsumes the tiered theatrical release that is normally followed by DVD or video on demand release and then distribution on conventional television networks. The most notable day-and-date release to air on HDNet Movies in tandem with their theatrical release was the Steven Soderbergh-directed 2006 drama Bubble. This strategy is seen as a blow to the traditional release window of theatrical films. Movies released using this strategy are simultaneously shown on HDNet Movies and in theaters on a Friday (the traditional release day of a film), followed quickly by a DVD release of the movie on Tuesday (the traditional DVD release day). Soderbergh signed a deal with HDNet films to release six of his films using this strategy; however, HDNet Movies allowed other directors to release their films day-and-date on both the network and in theaters. Many theaters saw this as a threat to their business, and have banned these films from release.
At one time, HDNet Movies showed a film two days before its theatrical release almost every month; this practice has been discontinued as of 2013.