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Toronto Q&A: Radius-TWC Presidents Tom Quinn And Jason Janego On How Multi-Platform Is Changing The Indie World

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: This weekend marks exactly one year since former Magnolia execs Tom Quinn and Jason Janego were hired by Harvey and Bob Weinstein to launch Radius-TWC, their first division dedicated to releasing acquisitions in a multi-platform strategy where films premiere first on VOD at a $10 price that drops to $7 when the film reaches theaters. This VOD-centric business is still being honed, and it’s a lightning rod for debate. Theatrical release traditionalists call it a second class way to release films, little more than shuffling the deck to place the ancillary revenue cycle before the theater part that always came first. Exhibitors, concerned that giving screens to films that go VOD first is potentially harmful to their business, are also torn. Stars accustomed to seeing their work on big screens with big P&A commitments are also worried. At the same time, Margin Call and other films show there is a viable business here, particularly for films that don’t justify a big P&A spend. Considering how Harvey can dominate the festival acquisition market, everyone’s waiting to see how Radius will influence the multi-platform game. Quinn and Janego made their first splash with Bachelorette, a pitch black comedy acquired during Sundance for $2 million, and which topped the iTunes movie rankings before it rolled out to theaters this weekend. Here, Quinn and Janego explain their view of a new business that is changing the indie world.

DEADLINE: What will Bachelorette do at the box office this weekend?

JASON JANEGO: In 47 runs across 16 markets, the estimate is $191,033 for the weekend, with a significant increase from Friday to Saturday through word of mouth, and core metropolitan runs performing at or near the top of their complexes. We’re extremely pleased that the film is outpacing much wider releases vying for the same demographic. Our rollout will continue to build on this success in the weeks to come.

DEADLINE: It’s your first release and it became the first VOD title to top the iTunes top movies chart. Besides a good sound bite, what does that mean in revenues?

TOM QUINN: iTunes is one piece of a big puzzle, but what you should know is, going into our opening weekend we grossed over $4 million through VOD already. That’s the fastest grossing film in this space. It has already exceeded Margin Call. We’re on pace to very quickly top All Good Things, which is the biggest VOD earner in the multi-platform stage. We were number one on iTunes but Rentrak does a national Top Ten ranking for all cable VOD transactions. It’s unanimously all studio films in the top ten, and we reached number four.

JANEGO: That’s a big deal because it is based on transactions.

QUINN: So the number one film is a studio film working at a $4 price point and we’re working at a $10 price point. That starts to put it all in perspective. And the only other films in this category that have been on this top ten list are Margin Call and All Good Things, which both reached nine. Nobody before had exceeded that, and so to be there within 36 hours of release, this is the story that Jason and I have been telling everybody for the last 12 months.

DEADLINE: What story is that?
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Specialty Box Office: ‘Detropia’, ‘Hello I Must Be Going’, ‘Keep The Lights On’, ‘Bachelorette’ Drive Debuts

Brian Brooks is managing editor of MovieLine.

More than a half-dozen new specialties headed to theaters over the weekend and half managed to gross fairly impressive returns in limited release. Loki Films’ Detropia drove into one location, grossing a stellar $18,350, giving it bragging rights to the weekend’s highest screen average and one of the year’s best documentary openers. Also bowing solid were Oscilloscope’s Hello I Must Be Going in a pair of locations, averaging $12,500, while Music Box’s Keep The Lights On averaged $10,746. The Weinstein Company’s multiplatform label Radius’ Bachelorette opened weaker, though in a much higher number of theaters. The Sundance feature averaged $4,064 in its initial theatrical run. The title has been available on VOD since early August. Roadside Attractions’ Branded failed to lure significant crowds, though the title opened by far in the most locations of this weekend’s crop of newcomers. In 307 theaters, it averaged a paltry $769 per site.
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‘Branded’, ‘Hello I Must Be Going’, ‘Bachelorette’, ‘The Inbetweeners’, ‘Keep The Lights On’: Specialty B.O. Preview

Brian Brooks is managing editor of MovieLine.

As the specialty industry is focused on the Toronto International Film Festival this weekend, RADiUS will have a chance to display its theatrical muscle with the rollout of Bachelorette, which it picked up out of Sundance earlier this year. Roadside Attractions will give its action-mystery Branded a more extensive initial release for a specialty title, taking it into a few hundred locations. Oscilloscope picked up Hello I Must Be Going, which will bow in limited release but will head for expansion through September. The Inbetweeners, meanwhile, will take a more cautious approach after it opens this weekend, while Keep The Lights On from Music Box will platform in New York and Los Angeles.

Writer-director: Leslye Headland
Cast: Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher, Lizzy Caplan, Rebel Wilson, Paul Corning, Andrew Fannells
Distributor: RADiUS/TWC

This often racy story written by writer/director Leslye Headland made the Black List back in 2008, although the honor didn’t immediately get the studios calling. Headland segued the script to screen via the independent route and was encouraged by a friend to use her vision after it first manifested in an off-Broadway play. “The idea was that could I make a romantic comedy that I would want to see. It’s not overly dire, but it’s dramatic and they’re acting like people. They’re making mistakes and they’re learning from them,” she said. “I wanted to make a film about women that treated them like people and not paper dolls.”
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Netflix, Radius-TWC Ink Output Deal

By | Thursday August 23, 2012 @ 8:06am PDT

Netflix is partnering with The Weinstein Co’s Radius-TWC label for a multi-year output deal to start in early 2013. Among the titles to go through the deal are Bachelorette, the Leslye Hedland comedy that shot to #1 on iTunes after Radius sent it out in a pre-theatrical release on Aug 10. Along with that fruitful move, Radius-TWC heads Tom Quinn and Jason Janego have been making interesting acquisitions since the multi-platform releasing company was hatched back in February. Also on deck for the Netflix deal are Nicolas Winding Refn’s reteam with Ryan Gosling, Only God Forgives; Butter with Jennifer Garner; Sundance pic The Details and Stephen Frears’ Lay The Favorite. Announcing the deal, the pair said: “We could not be more excited about this partnership. Netflix is as enthusiastic as we are about bringing marquee entertainment across various genres to viewers on their own terms – when, where and how they want to see it.”

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‘Bachelorette’ Becomes An iTunes Hit

By | Tuesday August 14, 2012 @ 6:09pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Here is why I think these Radius-TWC heads Tom Quinn and Jason Janego will be interesting to watch as they get untracked heading Harvey Weinstein’s multi-platform releasing company. They’ve done a pre-theatrical release of their Sundance acquisition Bachelorette and it has hit #1 on the iTunes Top Movies chart, the first pre-theatrical release to do so. I saw the Leslye Headland-directed film at its Sundance premiere, and with a cast that included Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher, Lizzy Caplan, Rebel Wilson, James Marsden and Adam Scott, everyone thought it would be the female version of The Hangover. But in this film, about best friends whose night of prenuptial debauchery threatens to ruin their closest friend’s wedding, these chicks were so hard to love that many buyers walked away for fear of alienating audiences with a wide release that would have required a big P&A spend. Still, the film’s biting humor is good enough to find a niche adult audience, and Janego and Quinn have started to do this with the iTunes release. These days, indie distributors have to find resourceful ways to find audiences while saving the P&A, as Roadside did with Margin Call last year. This year it’s even tougher to rise above the clutter of all the VOD titles. The Radius guys seem to have found a way to do that, before the September 7 theatrical release. Indeed, by way of comparison, … Read More »

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Red Band Trailer: ‘Bachelorette’

The Bridesmaids rip-offs were inevitable. Will Ferrell and Adam McKay through their Gary Sanchez productions just released the red band trailer for Bachelorette starring Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan, Isla Fisher, and James Marsden. Written by ex-Harvey Weinstein assistant Leslye Headland (FX’s Terriers), the low-budget indie generated some buzz at Sundance earlier this year and hits theaters September 7th:

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