Lionsgate Picks Up ‘The Smosh Movie,’ Youtube Gets Another Foothold in Hollywood

By  · Published on September 19th, 2014

Prepare to feel very, very old. Lionsgate has picked up the rights to The Smosh Movie, and will be distributing it around the globe, per Variety.

Smosh, of course, is the smash YouTube sensation with a viewer base of more than 30 million people. It’s official: if you don’t know what Smosh is, you’re no longer “hip,” “in,” or “with it.” Just another old-timer mashing the screen of a smartphone he doesn’t really need in the first place.

Here’s a quick Smosh history, just in case. Smosh is two people: Ian Andrew Hecox and Anthony Padilla. In 2002, the two guys began posting silly Flash animation videos online. In 2005, they upgraded to silly Youtube videos. Then, they lip-synced the Pokemon theme song (note: the actual video is no longer on Smosh, so here it is on someone else’s channel).

And their popularity summarily exploded. Now they’re YouTube gods, posting sketches, vlogs (translation: video blogs), Let’s Plays (translation: videos of people playing video games) and cartoons.

The Smosh Movie is basically Sex Tape- Padilla accidentally uploads some kind of humiliating video online, and he and Hecox have to race against the clock to destroy it. If they don’t, the girl Padilla’s into might see it, and at that point life as we know it would wither into humiliated nothingness and die. For reasons no one may be able to explain, The Smosh Movie is being directed by Alex Winter (Bill S. Preston, Esq. from Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure).

Mining Youtube gold for movie ideas is not a new thing; The Smosh Movie is the head of a great Godzilla-sized beastie, rising up on its powerful hind legs to make videos about funny cat memes. But until now, that beast has stayed below sea level- sticking to TV and indie outlets you might not be aware of.

Except the Youtube army is no longer satisfied with cable TV and smaller films. They crave more; bigger screens and bigger releases. The Smosh Movie is going for a traditional wide release, and it’s not the first- Lionsgate picked up a feature film from The Janoskians (Australian Youtube Jackass, basically) in May.

Hollywood is very aware of the coming storm. That’s why we keep hearing about it, in the form of “Can You Believe it? Youtube Stars Do This!” pieces. Youtube Stars Have Their Own Studios! Youtube Stars Have Their Own Agents! Youtube Stars Have More Influence Than Hollywood Ones! Each one coming to the consensus that Youtube celebs are going to shake things up, people.

Chances are, they’re right. Even if The Smosh Movie is a catastrophic failure, that won’t stop the Youtube brigades from pushing into more traditional media. These people are popular. Unbelievably popular. And with millennials, a demographic that’s only going to grow in influence as the years go on. You or I may not have the slightest idea what a Smosh is (technically, I believe I am a millennial, yet I thought it was some kind of fruit-mashing device), but at thirty million subscribers, these people are bigger players than you might realize.

It’s time get with the times. Here’s a good place to start: “Smosh” comes from Padilla mistakenly thinking that mosh pits were pronounced “smosh pits.”