“Snowpiercer,” a sci-fi film starring Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton, was released June 27 in eight theaters. Just weeks following its theatrical release, the Bong Joon-ho helmed movie was made available via video-on-demand. This new distribution model is part of Radius-TWC’s strategy to bring the movie to a larger audience. The Weinstein Co.’s boutique division is hoping that the early VOD release will keep the buzz going as its release expands to additional theaters.
The film has grossed $80 million worldwide, including $2 million in the 250 U.S. theaters that “Snowpiercer” was shown in last week. The film also had strong per-screen averages and the Rotten Tomatoes score is 94 percent.
Radius-TWC is taking a gamble that the film will still attract movie-goers even after the movie is available for streaming. However, according to Radius-TWC co-president Tom Quinn, “the early VOD release represents a way to reach more potential viewers while buzz around the film is still strong,” reports the Los Angeles Times. The company is hoping to continue expanding the theatrical release to 600 screens.
Quinn believes that VOD releases will not become the new norm for Hollywood. Instead, film distributors should tailor every movie release to the individual movie and audience. Experiments like “Snowpiercer” are helping to ensure that the audience finds exactly the movie they are looking for, whether they want to watch it on demand or in the theater.