‘Snowpiercer’ Finding Success on VOD Services

/ Jul 21, 2014


By Robert Workman

Sometimes, movies just manage to do better on the home video front, either as an on-demand release or through sales in Blu-Ray or DVD formats. One movie that proves this theory is “Snowpiercer,” the American language debut of Korean director Bong Joon-ho.

The movie got a limited theatrical release a couple of weeks ago, and opened to rave reviews, with many noting the strong performance of such leads as Chris Evans (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier”) and Jaime Bell. However, just two weeks later, the film has been released on the on-demand front, available for download through iTunes, cable providers, and a number of other services. And, surprisingly enough, it’s finding more success on that front.

As part of RADIUS-TWC’s distribution plan for the film, “Snowpiercer” managed to make an estimated $1.1 million from video on-demand sales over the weekend, earning nearly twice as much as the $635,000 it cleaned up in theaters. While those numbers pale in comparison to “Transformers: Age of Extinction”‘s $100+ million opening a few weekends ago, it’s still an interesting business statistic.

“From a layman’s perspective, these numbers are possibly not that interesting,” said RADIUS-TWC co-president Tom Quinn. “But from an industry perspective, it’s a game changer.”

VOD works as a cheaper and more profitable alternative to most filmmakers these days, especially “indie” producers. “That $1.1 million gross is actually worth almost double to me in terms of how it nets out in our bottom line,” said Quinn.

Promotion plays a big part in the movie’s success as well. “We are being promoted on TV, but we are being promoted on TV to consume,” continued Quinn. “We have a TV campaign, but it’s in service of actually selling the movie to be purchased. That’s very different.”

Usually, movie-to-home releases span a much larger ratio, around three months or so. But Quinn stands behind the company’s decision to go with VOD instead of theaters. “Should we have opened larger (in theaters)?” he asked. “Possibly. It’s a fair discussion for us to consider, but I also feel like in some respects we absolutely nailed the timing from our original theatrical launch to our debut on VOD.

Don’t be surprised if other studios manage to follow “Snowpiercer”‘s example.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

This article was originally published on alistdaily.com, the insiders’ source for editorial focused on entertainment marketing news and content partner with VideoInk. Follow us on Twitter @alistdaily or subscribe for the latest news, data and more in your inbox.

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