EXCLUSIVE: Chris Evans’ directorial debut, Before We Go from Radius-TWC, is coming off its ultra-VOD window with a notable $1.53M prior to its 15-city domestic opening on Friday.
Since its July 21 availability on cable and digital platforms, Before We Go is the first pre-theatrical film this year to crack both the top 5 on iTunes and the top 10 on Rentrak’s weekly digital chart. For three weeks in a row, the Chris Evans film has been in Rentrak’s top 20. Before We Go marks the second heyday between Evans and Radius. The Weinstein Co. boutique label handled the Evans’ dystopian future headliner Snowpiercer last summer, making $4.56M stateside before ultimately grossing $9M from its on-demand release, two weeks after theatrical.
This weekend, Before We Go will hit such venues as the Angelika in New York and the Arclight Cinema in Los Angeles. Evans has been tubthumping the film to his 2.7M Twitter followers from the set of Captain America: Civil War.
Radius acquired U.S. on Before We Go out of last year’s Toronto International Film Festival for low seven figures. The film stars Evans and Alice Eve as two strangers who are stuck in New York City for the night. They start out s convenient acquaintances, but the two soon grow into each other’s most trusted confidants when a night of unexpected adventure forces them to confront their fears and take control of their lives.
Said Radius EVP Liza Burnett Fefferman, “Before We Go‘s success is two-fold. First off, Chris Evans is a huge draw and audiences want to see him as a romantic lead. Secondly, the industry has seen the box office over-populated with studio tentpole-sequels, while original films like Straight Outta Compton are far and few between. Before We Go has managed to carve out a niche for itself proving there is a younger specialized audience interested in seeing a quality romance.”
One of the perks for indie films launching in a pre-theatrical cable-digital VOD window is that they mint money while spurring word of mouth. During pre-theatrical, a title’s price point is much higher — an average of $9.99 — than it is during its theatrical release when the VOD rental price drops to an average of $6.99. In many instances, VOD has been a more lucrative stream for titles than theatrical. Radius’ Isla Fisher-Rebel Wilson-Lizzy Caplan-Kirsten Dunst comedy Bachelorette made $8.6M via digital/VOD to $448K theatrical. Then there’s the mother of all cases, Sony’s The Interview which grossed $15M in its first four days on VOD spurred by the Sony Hack-North Korean threat hoopla to its limited theatrical B.O. of $6.1M.
“People are watching Before We Go multiple times on VOD and they’re also planning to see the film theatrically,” added Fefferman. “We saw this with Bachelorette and The One I Love with Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss.”
Tom Quinn and Jason Janego, who started the TWC label back in 2011, left the company earlier this month, though Radius is still gearing up for more releases, at least for now. Next up is thriller Goodnight Mommy, which had its debut at last year’s Venice Film Festival, and whose trailer has nabbed impressive attention with nearly 8M trailer views. The feature was also named Austria’s entry for Best Foreign Language Oscar consideration. Radius recently gave Amazon Prime limited exclusive streaming rights to the Cannes film festival title Macbeth following its Dec. 4 theatrical release.
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