Distribution

MoPix CEO Ryan Stoner wants your movie to find an audience. He also wants fans to find new filmmakers. His company is a turnkey digital distribution model that seeks to give up to 100% of profit made through online “ticket” sales back to the production. It’s a bold new business, and he joins us to discuss their goals, what drives them, and his vision for the future. Plus, Cinema Blend Editor-in-Chief and Operation Kino host Katey Rich joins the show to play Good News Bad News with this week’s top stories. Download Episode #144

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Giving movies limited theatrical runs alongside a day-and-date Video On Demand release is becoming more and more popular in our current landscape of digital media. We’ve never seen a big movie that has high hopes of pulling in huge box office dollars take the risk, but it seems like a strategy that’s been working out well for smaller budget arthouse and genre films. The latest movie to make such a deal is probably the one with the most star power to ever take the VOD plunge. Deadline Peekskill is reporting that Mel Gibson’s upcoming Get the Gringo (formerly known as How I Spent My Summer Vacation), a Mexico-set action film that he both stars in and financed through his Icon Productions, has signed a deal with 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and DirecTV for its release and promotion. This deal is unique in that the movie will be available exclusively on DirecTV for a period, with wider VOD options coming later in the year. The film is set to hit DirecTV customers on May 1, the same day that it will be screening in at least 10 markets alongside a Gibson Q&A taking place in an Austin theater.

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Back in November, we reported that newly un-retired director Steven Soderbergh’s next film would be a thriller about the world of psychopharmacology called Bitter Pill. Following Soderbergh’s projects has been kind of a roller coaster ride lately though, so having faith that Bitter Pill was actually going to get made was kind of a…ahem, tough pill to swallow. But things are now looking a lot better on that front. While this is still the Scott Z. Burns script that Soderbergh intends to work on, the film has now been retitled Side Effects, a seemingly arbitrary change that at least points to the fact that active work is being done on development. And that’s not even the big news. The big news is that heiress Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures is stepping up to fund the film, alongside Open Road Films, who will be handling the domestic distribution. That kind of makes this one a lot more official, and seeing as Open Road is hoping for a release in the first half of 2013, shooting is scheduled to start in April and the casting process should begin ASAP. I would imagine that Soderbergh is calling up Matt Damon and George Clooney as we speak. [THR]

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The most entertaining film from this year’s SXSW film fest has finally found a US distributor. I say “finally” because someone should have picked it up the moment the closing credits started rolling on opening night. But hey, better late than never… Joe Cornish’s Attack the Block is about an alien invasion of sorts in London’s tough, inner-city neighborhoods. Pitch black creatures are eating their way through town, but there are no military units or police heroes to fight back the horde here so instead that task falls to a group of teen thugs. These are right pricks here, make no mistake, but by the film’s end they may just steal your heart. (But I’d check to make sure you still have your wallet and watch just in case.) Brian Salisbury’s excellent review of the movie is here, Sony’s press release is below, and thanks to BadassDigest for the heads up about this fantastic news.

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A touch over 17 years ago, Kevin Smith was sitting in an almost-empty theater on the verge of tears because he was staring a massive load of credit card debt in the face with nothing more than a black and white indie film and a handful of friends enjoying the most expensive viewing party ever. It would turn out that the one man he didn’t recognize as obligated by friendship to be there would end up pulling the strings to get Clerks purchased. The rest is history that tries not to suck too many dicks on its way to the parking lot. Almost two decades later, Smith has announced that he plans on launching long-awaited zealot horror film Red State at Sundance 2011 and wants to hop up on stage afterward with a gavel in hand to start the public bidding. Yes, friends. Kevin Smith wants to auction off distribution for Red State to the highest bidder right there and then.

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