EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has signed on to distribute North American and U.K. on Stretch, the Joe Carnahan-directed action comedy from Blumhouse Productions. It will be released March 21, 2014. The film, which stars Patrick Wilson, Ed Helms, Chris Pine and Brooklyn Decker, becomes the second micro-budget genre movie in the first-look deal that Jason Blum’s Blumhouse signed with the studio. They got off to a flying start on that deal with The Purge, the $3 million film that was released June 7 and so far has grossed north of $55 million domestic, with a sequel in the works.
Universal has set a March 21 release date for the under-$5 million Stretch, which stars Wilson as a limo driver who discovers he only has one shift left to pay off a big debt, and he rolls the dice. When the chauffeur picks up a reclusive billionaire (Pine) with some deviant appetites, the driver vows to fulfill the guy’s every request, no matter how weird, to score the big tip that could square him. But as the night grows stranger and the driver is pushed into some very dangerous encounters, he worries that the freak in his back seat might just be his final fare. Blum is producing, and so are Carnahan and Tracy Falco. Leon Corcos and Nila Najand will co-produce. Charles Layton will be executive producer.
While Universal will release North American and UK, Blum’s new foreign sales outfit Blumhouse International has been overseeing offshore sales. BHI has a worldwide distribution and servicing deal with IM Global. They brought Stretch to Cannes and sold out during the festival market. Blumhouse’s recent track record with price conscious genre fare has been more than admirable. The company is sitting on four franchises, with Paranormal Activity, Sinister, Insidious and The Purge.