TV & FILM
bill-swift - July 16, 2014
I'm all for trying to figure out new ways to make good movies that make money. I get that the digital age has been hard on Hollywood, and that this has affected the types of movies that get made. So by all means, big wigs, get creative. Think outside the box. But don't totally blow an opportunity to make $100 million at the box office and call $1.1. million worth of video on demand revenue a "game changer."
That's what RADiUS-TWC did with the critically acclaimed Snowpiercer. The Korean-made post-apolcalyptic action flick starring Chris Evans has been getting rave reviews for ages, but The Weinstein Company dragged their feet on a wide stateside release because they thought it was too long. Then, when they finally did release the film—up against Michael Bay and the goddamn Transformers juggernaught—it started out in just eight theaters before expanding to a mere 356.
Needless to say, despite all the critical acclaim, the film fizzled. To date it's made only $2.6 million in the United States, after making 40x that in Korea. So over the weekend RADiUS-TWC got desperate and released Snowpiercer to VOD services.
Did the film do well in VOD sales? Yes. Extremely well, actually, relative to other VOD releases. But even RADiUS-TWC co-president Tom Quinn, the very guy who called it a "game changer," also subtly admitted to Entertainment Weekly that they kinda blew it.
"Should we have opened larger [in theaters]?" asked Quinn. "Possibly. It's a fair discussion for us to consider, but I also feel like in some respects we absolutely nailed the timing from our original theatrical launch to our devut on VOD."
"This is completely uncharted territory," he continued. "But it's 100 percent within the consumer's control how you want to see this film. That's what our goal is at RADiUS: a screen is a screen is a screen and it's your choice where you see it."
Nice spin, Tom.
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