Christmas 2013 saw another milestone in VOD as Netflix released the first five episodes of a web series based on the Dreamworks Animation film ”Turbo”.
It initially seems like a strange move to expand the property of a movie that by all accounts underperformed. It made $282m from a $135m budget, so it barely broke even (but knowing what we do about Hollywood accounting, the P&A budget was probably much higher).
But gone ahead Dreamworks Animation has, with more episodes premiering throughout 2014. Might it be a new business model in the making – when a film doesn’t catch fire in cinemas, studios can use entrenched platforms to roll out more content based on existing IP for just a little extra outlay? It’d be interesting to see what kind of deal Netflix and Dreamworks Animation struck.
Elsewhere in VOD land, distributor John Sloss threw down the gauntlet to other studios when he released the VOD numbers for the film ”Escape From Tomorrowland”, which he released through his shingle Cinetic Media. The movie enjoyed a flurry of attention for being shot undercover at Disney resorts and parks without the company’s permission, and according to Sloss, it earned US$139,334 in theatres and US$120,560 on VOD in two weeks of release.
That’s encouraging news anyway, but Sloss has faced criticism from his peers for making the VOD revenue public, all complaining that the public and industry doesn’t understand the context of VOD revenue yet.
Personally we can’t see what’s so complicated. You put a movie online instead of giving it to big expensive exhibitors and charge consumers directly – what’s not to understand? Is this just old Hollywood types in terror at the grasping maw of the Internet?
New and coming up on VOD, ”The Right Kind of Wrong”, starring Ryan Kwanten as a starry eyed romantic chasing impossible dreams. Also ”Cavemen”, about a player (Skylar Astin) who realises he wants to settle down and enlists best friend Camilla Belle to help.
Upping the cool factor is Kurt Russell as a former art thief Crunch in ”The Art of the Steal”, drawn back into the high stakes world for one the fabled one last job.