EXCLUSIVE: This weekend marks exactly one year since former Magnolia execs Tom Quinn and Jason Janego were hired by Harvey and Bob Weinstein to launch Radius-TWC, their first division dedicated to releasing acquisitions in a multi-platform strategy where films premiere first on VOD at a $10 price that drops to $7 when the film reaches theaters. This VOD-centric business is still being honed, and it’s a lightning rod for debate. Theatrical release traditionalists call it a second class way to release films, little more than shuffling the deck to place the ancillary revenue cycle before the theater part that always came first. Exhibitors, concerned that giving screens to films that go VOD first is potentially harmful to their business, are also torn. Stars accustomed to seeing their work on big screens with big P&A commitments are also worried. At the same time, Margin Call and other films show there is a viable business here, particularly for films that don’t justify a big P&A spend. Considering how Harvey can dominate the festival acquisition market, everyone’s waiting to see how Radius will influence the multi-platform game. Quinn and Janego made their first splash with Bachelorette, a pitch black comedy acquired during Sundance for $2 million, and which topped the iTunes movie rankings before it rolled out to theaters this weekend. Here, Quinn and Janego explain their view of a new business that is changing the indie world.
JASON JANEGO: In 47 runs across 16 markets, the estimate is $191,033 for the weekend, with a significant increase from Friday to Saturday through word of mouth, and core metropolitan runs performing at or near the top of their complexes. We’re extremely pleased that the film is outpacing much wider releases vying for the same demographic. Our rollout will continue to build on this success in the weeks to come.
TOM QUINN: iTunes is one piece of a big puzzle, but what you should know is, going into our opening weekend we grossed over $4 million through VOD already. That’s the fastest grossing film in this space. It has already exceeded Margin Call. We’re on pace to very quickly top All Good Things, which is the biggest VOD earner in the multi-platform stage. We were number one on iTunes but Rentrak does a national Top Ten ranking for all cable VOD transactions. It’s unanimously all studio films in the top ten, and we reached number four.
JANEGO: That’s a big deal because it is based on transactions.
QUINN: So the number one film is a studio film working at a $4 price point and we’re working at a $10 price point. That starts to put it all in perspective. And the only other films in this category that have been on this top ten list are Margin Call and All Good Things, which both reached nine. Nobody before had exceeded that, and so to be there within 36 hours of release, this is the story that Jason and I have been telling everybody for the last 12 months.
DEADLINE: What story is that?