EXCLUSIVE: ITN has dated its grindhouse indie Danny Trejo’s Vengeance to arrive on August 28, deliberately opening two weeks ahead of star Danny Trejo‘s other actioner, Robert Rodriguez’s Machete Kills. Filmmaker Gil Medina hasn’t made a ton of friends with his bold strategy of piggybacking off of P&A for the Open Road-released Machete sequel, which ITN hopes will boost interest in their rival Trejo pic. Unorthodox Medina’s gone directly to smaller exhibitors around the country offering highly desirable splits ranging from 50/50 to 80/20 in select markets. So far he’s struck deals or is in talks to book with chains including Cinemark, Carmike, Harkins, and Megaplex Theatres to run his film ahead of Machete Kills, whose distributor Open Road is owned by top chains AMC and Regal. “I’ve been told that these chains do not care to do any favors for Open Road,” Medina told me. Utah-based Megaplex Theatres even booked the bloody revenge pic, which was shot in-state, despite its relatively conservative market.
Robert Rodriguez Sued For $11M For Allegedly Bullying Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak & Seeking To Stifle Indie Film
Robert Rodriguez was sued today for at least $11 million by an independent producer who claims the Machete Kills director used “threats and intimidation” to damage the film Danny Trejo’s Vengeance and a new Steve Wozniak-endorsed app related to the movie. “Rodriguez feared that the promotion of another film starring Danny Trejo would diminish the Machete Kills brand and would threaten box office numbers and thus set in motion a plan to diminish ITN’s reputation and stifle the success of the film and the App Game,” says the five-count complaint (read it here) from ITN Flix. The company is seeking $11 million in damages plus more to be determined by a jury trial. In a filing in federal court Tuesday in Utah, ITN’s lawyers claim that Rodriguez and Trejo’s longtime talent agent Gloria Hinojosa of Amsel, Eisenstadt & Frazier “bullied, threatened and intimidated all people involved with Film and the App Game to damage sales and sever business relationships.”
As Deadline reported last November, ITN had developed the app Danny Trejo’s Vengeance: Woz With A Coz featuring Apple co-founder Wozniak as a way to promote the movie and create another revenue stream. As well, the company was trying to set up a campaign to promote Danny Trejo’s Vengeance on the marketing coattails of Machete Kills, which Trejo also stars in, by offering an 80-20 split with rival exhibitors of Open Road. Open Road picked up distribution for the Machete sequel in October and plans to release the film September 13, 2013. This is the second Machete Kills lawsuit Rodriguez has to face. In late November, Overnight Productions filed a suit to terminate their agreement with the director to make another movie about the rogue Mexican Federale. It successful, the case would revert all Machete rights back to Oversight and could stop the release of the movie.
EXCLUSIVE: Production company ITN is pulling out all the stops to promote Danny Trejo‘s upcoming film Danny Trejo’s Vengeance. In addition to the indie company releasing this month a tablet game Danny Trejo’s Vengeance: Woz With A Coz featuring Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak to promote the movie, the plan is to use the eventual release date of Trejo’s Robert Rodriguez sequel Machete Kills as a sort of marketing partner. ITN is shopping Vengeance to rival exhibitors of Machete Kills‘ Open Road Films (a venture between big U.S. circuits AMC and Regal) at a discount, pitching them to open Vengeance three weeks before the eventual release date of Machete Kills. The idea is to draft on that pic’s marketing. We’re hearing the offer is to chains like Carmike and Cinemark for an 80-20 split — well beyond the usual 50-50 or 60-40 deals made for feature films.
If successful it would put two pics in the marketplace at once starring Trejo, the ex-con-turned-drug counselor who was discovered as a movie extra and now has 180-plus films to his credit. Vengeance stars the iconic tough guy as a retired undercover vice cop whose wife and daughter are murdered, and after a serving a jail sentence for a crime he didn’t commit he hits the streets bent on revenge. Medina, Trejo’s partner at ITN, directed. ITN is also in development on My Dog Zeus, Have You Considered?, and Jesus And Angelina: A Gangster Love Story.