Rooster Teeth and Tugg, the same Austin-based companies who paired on the release of Lazer Team in a cinema-on-demand model, are going try their hand next at giving the same kind of theatrical treatment to Rooster Teeth’s anime series RWBY. This time, they will do three releases, both here and abroad, and roll out the three volumes, which have already been available to their fans online. Sounds crazy, right? But it seems to be working in that online fans seem to want the communal experience that theatergoing brings. The first feature film will release in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.
Lazer Team debuted last month and grossed $1.1M in the U.S. and $1.6M globally, according to Rentrak, which gave it a per-screen average of $3,140. They four-walled in 35 theaters in the states. If Rooster Teeth and Tugg can pull anywhere close to numbers like that for an online anime property that has been already viewed millions of times online, that would be impressive. We’ll be watching.
The first film in the series will premiere on April 27, the second installment is slated for July, and the third is expected out in October. Since Rooster Teeth first premiered RWBY in July 2013, the entire three-volume series has been viewed about 21M+ times and, in the process, has built up a large fan base; it even has a merchandising campaign. The way this one will work is that fans will be able to go on the website and then create meet-ups for screenings thru Tugg, and once they buy tickets, they then get discounts to buy more merchandise.
So what the heck is RWBY? It’s an anime series that tells the story of four girls — Ruby, Weiss, Blake and Yang — who are students at Beacon Academy, an ancient school designed to train the monster-slayers know as Hunters and Huntresses. Unfortunately, monsters aren’t the only threat in the world of Remnant, and if these girls want to graduate, they’ll have to learn to work together both on the battlefield and in the classroom.
Rooster Teeth claims that RWBY was the first Western anime series to be imported into Japan online (through a partnership with Warner Bros Japan).