Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop, the Rodman Flender-directed documentary about the chat host’s 32 city music and comedy tour undertaken after he took a $30 million payout to leave The Tonight Show, has wrapped a distribution deal in a multi-platform acquisition and distribution deal. AT&T is in as a P&A and distribution and marketing partner, and it will sneak the film to AT&T U-verse TV subscribers on the eve of the film’s theatrical release. Abramorama, the consulting company headed by indie distribution vet Richard Abramowitz, will steer theatrical distribution. Magnolia Home Entertainment acquired the remaining VOD and home entertainment rights in a deal brokered by WME Global, right after the film made its debut at South By Southwest in Austin, Texas.
It’s the second SXSW deal of the day for WME, after brokering one with The Weinstein Company for the documentary Undefeated. O’Brien started the wheels moving on a documentary about his days in talk show absentia right after he was removed from Tonight Show duty a year ago. Unable to go on TV, he grew a beard and toured the country with the Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television Tour, a musical and comedy act that gave O’Brien the chance to test his chops as a musical artist, and tell a lot of jokes at the expense of NBC. I saw a performance at Radio City and while I wouldn’t suggest O’Brien give up his day job to sing for his supper, the show was pretty funny and it was nice to see O’Brien get his Irish up after getting royally screwed out of his dream job. The picture was produced by Gavin Polone and Rachel Griffin. “For a film like ours, and with Conan at its center, it was imperative that we not follow typical business models in the release of this film,” the producers said in a statement. “This distribution deal has been structured in a way that satisfies our audience in every possible manner, and allows people to see the film on whichever platform they most prefer — be it on a big screen in a dark theater which lots of other fans or the small screen of their choice. As part of this deal, AT&T will provide exclusive content related to the film to their customers – both on U-verse TV and also on AT&T mobile devices.”