CollegeHumor to Release First Feature Film on iTunes, Amazon

/ Jul 7, 2013

coffeetown

CollegeHumor is set to release its first full-length feature film this week. And foregoing the traditional practice of launching the film in theatres and marketing it via traditional media methods, the comedy site plans to distribute it directly via on-demand digital platforms like iTunes and Amazon, and will market the film using its social media channels.

The independent film, “Coffee Town” (trailer below), is written and directed by Brad Copeland (“Arrested Development,” “Wild Hogs”) and stars Glenn Howerton (“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”), Ben Schwartz (“Parks & Recreation”), Adrianne Palicki (“Friday Night Lights”), Steve Little (“Eastbound & Down”), and Josh Groban (“Crazy, Stupid, Love”).

The film tells the story of a man (Howerton) who telecommutes from his favorite coffee shop. When he discovers plans to turn the coffee shop into an upscale bistro, he plots with his friends to stage a fake crime, which would prevent the transition from happening.

CollegeHumor plans to release “Coffee Town” on Tuesday, July 9, across digital outlets like iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, and PlayStation. The hope is that CollegeHumor, which has an established audience, will be able to market the film to its audience, without needing to spend marketing dollars on traditional media campaigns, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“We think that there are some movies that need to buy a lot of TV ads and be in 3,000 theaters to be successful,” CollegeHumor co-founder Ricky Van Veen told the LA Times. “But something like ‘Coffee Town’ we believe can find an audience without those bells and whistles.”

This is because “Coffee Town” is a smaller film (the Times reports that the budget was below $1 million), which means producers and filmmakers are not under pressure to generate huge grosses to justify a giant production and marketing budget.

Direct distribution something to keep an eye on, as indie filmmakers look for other ways to get their projects financed and distributed beyond the old Hollywood/studio system. Last week, the filmmakers behind “Some Girls,” a romantic dramedy starring Adam Brody (“The O.C.”) and Kristen Bell (“Veronica Mars”) debuted on Vimeo’s new On Demand offering. We’ve also seen comedians like Louis C.K., Aziz Ansari, and Jim Gaffigan release comedy specials directly online, instead of a cable channel like HBO. And even studios like Sony and Disney are testing this model out (albeit in other countries).

So direct distribution is definitely a conversation worth having as the film industry tries to stay level with changes in content consumption. Still, if this past weekend’s box office numbers are any suggestion, there is still a lot of money in putting a film out in 3,000+ theaters. So it’s more likely that the smaller indie far, such as “Coffee Town” and “Some Girls,” pave the way for future filmmakers.

And to be fair, it’s not like CollegeHumor is completely ignoring traditional media. The site plans to screen the film in select theaters before hosting its official premiere at the Just for Laughs festival in Montreal on July 27. Van Veen also noted to the LA Times that a future cable release is not exactly out of the question.

“Coffee Town” is produced by Van Veen and Kathryn Dean.

Check out the red-band trailer:

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


Read today's digital video news stories

Quick Breaks 4.17.15: Maker Goes to ABC; Netflix Series Gets...

DJ Steve Porter Collabs on Fear Factor web series with Endemol

Endemol Beyond USA Taps DJ Steve Porter for ‘Fear...

Ticketmaster releases original web series on YouTube, Access Granted

Ticketmaster Releases Original Web Series, ‘Access...

Anna Akana on Ear Biscuits

Anna Akana: A True Filmmaker on YouTube

Digital video industry news today

Friday 4.17.15: News to Know

Fusion debuting new series on Snapchat Discover

Fusion to Debut Five New Series on Snapchat Discover

VidCon 2015 has named its keynote speakers

Vessel, Twitter, GoPro Execs to Keynote VidCon 2015

Vessel raises some $$$

Vessel Raises $57.5 Million in Series B Funding Round

Read today's digital video news stories

Quick Breaks 4.16.15: Rightster Working with Fox; CBS Launches...

online video terms to die

9 Online Video Terms That Need to Die (Including ‘Online Video’)

Jillian Michaels sues over YouTube videos

Jillian Michaels Sues Lionsgate for Making Money Off Her Videos...

Gannett and ViewLift to launch sports digital video service

Gannett & ViewLift Working on Digital Sports Video Service

Side Effects by AwesomenessTV

AwesomenessTV’s ‘Side Effects’ Movie to Debut on E!

Digital video industry news today

Thursday 4.16.15: News to Know

College Sports will be on Verizon Wireless phones later in 2015

Verizon to Put ESPN, CBS College Sports Content on Mobile

AOL On

AOL & GME UK Partner on Original Series for AOL On

Korean films now on Facebook thanks to Walla and CJ Entertainment

CJ Entertainment & Walla Bring Korean Films to Facebook

Read today's digital video news stories

Quick Breaks 4.15.15: Refinery29 Show on Milk VR; DigiTour Hires...

Smosh: The Movie

AwesomenessTV & Defy’s ‘Smosh: The Movie’...

Netflix releases Q1 2015 earnings report

Netflix Gained 4.9 Million Subscribers in Q1 of 2015

Raymond & Lane YouTube web series

Web Series Wednesday: Two Is Better Than One

maker

Maker Studios to Go Streaming on CanalPlay in France

Mark Lopez was hired at Univision Communications

Univision Communications Hires Former Google Exec to Manage Digital

Digital video industry news today

Wednesday 4.15.15: News to Know

New series "Our Planet" is coming to Netflix in 2019

New Series from ‘Planet Earth’ Creators Coming to...

Orange Is the New Black will get a fourth season on Netflix

Netflix Orders Fourth Season of ‘Orange Is the New Black’

vice

Vice Announces One-Hour Live Music Series with Live Nation

AwesomenessTV

AwesomenessTV to Push Internationally, Announces First Verizon Series

DreamWorks Dragons, the series, is coming to Netflix

‘DreamWorks Dragons’ Series to Debut on Netflix June 26

Read today's digital video news stories

Quick Breaks 4.14.15: Paul Feig’s Yahoo Series Launches;...

Jerry Seinfeld at Crackle 2015 Upfront

Crackle’s James Smith on Being the Best of Both Worlds in...

Digital video industry news today

Tuesday 4.14.15: News to Know

Watch hip-hip documentary "Shake the Dust" on Vimeo

International Hip-Hop Documentary Now on Vimeo on Demand

PopSugar to be acquired...?

Japanese Rakuten Might Acquire PopSugar for $580 Million (Report)

crackle upfronts

Crackle to Look More Like TV, Intros First Animated and...

Yahoo_new

LEAK: Yahoo Shutters Video Platform for Creators One Year After...

Periscope is Twitter's live-streaming video app

Hearst Live-Streamed ‘Bedtime Stories’ with Periscope

VideoElephant partners with SpotXchange

VideoElephant, SpotXchange Partner to Bring Publishers Content...