Going direct-to-VOD : Sweetness, The High Note… and New Mutants?

With a ‘we’re outta this!’ headline regarding the Coronavirus still a ways off, several other studios have opted to push some of their theatricals to digital- hoping they’ll see some “Sonic the Hedgehog” or “Invisible Man”-style dollars for doing so.

Firstly, Gravitas Ventures will now release “Sweetness in the Belly” -originally set for a theatrical, as well as a digital bow May 8- only On Demand.  The film, starring Dakota Fanning and Yahya Abdul-Matteen II, “tells the moving story of Lilly (Dakota Fanning), an English child abandoned in Africa.  Lilly is forced to flee Ethiopia for England when civil war breaks out.  She befriends Amina (Wunmi Mosaku), an Ethiopian refugee who has fled the same war.  Together they begin a mission to reunite people with their scattered families.

Focus Features have opted to go straight-to-digital with “The High Note”, starring Tracee Ellis Ross and Dakota Johnson.  The film will hit digital platforms May 29.

Set in the dazzling world of the LA music scene comes the story of Grace Davis (Tracee Ellis Ross), a superstar whose talent, and ego, have reached unbelievable heights, and Maggie (Dakota Johnson), her overworked personal assistant.  While stuck running errands, Maggie still aspires to her childhood dream of becoming a music producer. When Grace’s manager (Ice Cube) presents her with a choice that could alter the course of her career, Maggie and Grace come up with a plan that could change their lives forever.

The film is directed by Nisha Ganatra (“Late Night”) from a script by Flora Greeson. It is produced by Working Title Films’ Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner.  The film’s executive producers are Nathan Kelly and Alexandra Loewy.


Lastly, some eagle-eyed viewers noticed that Disney’s “The New Mutants” – which has been on-and-off release calendars for several years now – is available for pre-order (or was.. seems Amazon has now removed the page) on Digital.

The Prime listing stated that the film would be available for pre-order purchase on both SD and HD for the price of $25.99.  There was no release date.

This suggests that Disney has let retailers know that the film is going be a streaming premiere (and no surprise, really… Disney are sending “Artemis Fowl” to digital after all)… but an official announcement is still pending.

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