If movie theaters are planning to reopen in select locations around the country in the next month, will there be any new movies out there left to program?
In another case of another movie biting the dust, Lionsgate has decided that the best course of distribution financially for their movie Antebellum is to have the movie premiere on premium on-demand platforms on Sept. 18, as COVID-19 safety protocols currently bar New York, California and other stateside cinemas from reopening. Antebellum will not get a simultaneous theatrical release in the U.S., however, will be released in select offshore markets.
The movie, directed and written by filmmakers Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz, was originally intended to be an intriguing horror release for the mini-major, its first release date being April 24, before being moved to Aug. 21, and then undated recently.
“While the theatrical experience will always be the heart of our business, we are thrilled that we are able to seize the opportunity to match Gerard and Chris’s urgent and immediate film with a release strategy befitting this moment of extraordinary change,” said Joe Drake, Chairman of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group. “Gerard and Chris are storytellers whose work beats with authenticity – not only will this film entertain and thrill audiences worldwide, but spark a discussion about our current world.”
Bush and Renz, who made their feature directorial debut on the Janelle Monáe movie, added, “While we designed Antebellum to be consumed as a communal experience in the theater, we are thrilled by the unique opportunity we have to pivot to a different kind of communal moment in our culture. As we face the realities of systemic racism in our country, which have crescendoed to this current inflection point in 2020, we understand how imperative it is to bring Antebellum to the broadest audience possible, while also prioritizing health and safety. It is our ardent hope that by sharing our film widely, both nationally and internationally, we will transform the moviegoing experience from home into a true event.”
In Antebellum, successful author Veronica Henley (Monáe) finds herself trapped in a horrifying reality that forces her to confront the past, present and future – before it’s too late.
Antebellum also stars Marque Richardson, Eric Lange, Jack Huston, Kiersey Clemons, Tongayi Chirisa, Gabourey Sidibe, Rob Aramayo, Lily Cowles, and Jena Malone. Pic is produced by Raymond Mansfield, Sean McKittrick, Zev Foreman, Bush and Renz, and Lezlie Willis.
Back in May, Lionsgate won Bush and Renz’s next project, Rapture, in a highly competitive situation. Rapture follows a family who is torn apart by warring beliefs and must come together to unravel the mystery around the sudden vanishing of the global population – before it’s too late.