With the release yesterday of the eclectic comedy “Motorama,” Hollywood-based Two Moon Releasing is taking its second stab at domestic distribution of independent product.
Company president and owner Donald P. Borchers said Two Moon Releasing has initially booked “Motorama” into Laemmle’s Sunset 5 and the Monica Fourplex–the first step in the company’s bid to establish the pic as a cult title.
Borchers said the two-print run is the beginning of a platform release for “Motorama,” with the company poised to react immediately to the Los Angeles box office performance.
“We don’t want the ego to overcome the business aspects (of the release),” Borchers said. “If we have extraordinary positive (box office) performance, we’ll take the picture out to San Francisco, Seattle and Toronto.
“If the picture performs modestly, we’ll hold the status quo with continued modest support in Los Angeles until our retained earnings meet our target levels and allow us to roll out on a more gradual basis.
“If the picture does not perform, we’ll shut down the run. I have no desire to pump good money into a bad” marketing job.
Borchers said after screenings at 14 film festivals, he is confident “Motorama” is a good film. Directed by Barry Shils, the pic is about a 10 -year-old boy’s quest to assemble eight Chimera Oil Co. game cards that spell out M-O-T-O-R-A-M-A and win the accompanying $ 500 million grand prize.
Produced by Borchers on a $ 1.8 million budget, “Motorama” stars Jordan Christopher Michael with cameos by such celebs as Drew Barrymore, Martha Quinn, Shelley Berman, Jack Nance, Susan Tyrrell, Garrett Morris, Red Hot Chili Peppers bass player Flea, Meat Loaf, Robin Duke, Catskills comic Sandy Baron and John Diehl. It’s the 21st movie Borchers has produced in his 15-year career.
Two Moon’s release of “Motorama” marks the company’s continued crusade to support independent filmmaking by providing a distribution alternative for independently financed films.
Funded with retained earnings from Planet Prods. Corp.– Borchers’ 8-year-old movie development and production shingle –Two Moon is attempting to fill the void left by the demise of countless indie theatrical distributors in the late 1980s, including such companies as Lorimar Motion Pictures, DEG, Atlantic, New World, Vestron and Cinecom.
Two Moon is attempting to cut marketing costs through in-house design of one-sheets and trailers, while holding down advertising expenditures with direct mail, buys on cable access and college promotions.
Holding marketing line
For “Motorama,” the company has placed a billboard on Sunset Boulevard, television advertising on MTV and Nickelodeon, radio spots on KROQ and KLSX and print advertising in the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Weekly, Village View , the UCLA Bruin, Entertainment Today, Venice, Movieline and Daily Variety.
While Two Moon’s plan is ambitious, the company’s first release, “Desire & Hell at the Sunset Motel,” was a disappointment at the box office. Released on April 24, the pic grossed $ 3,500 in one week of release.
Distributed only in Los Angeles, it was one of several independent releases stymied by curfews imposed in the aftermath of the Los Angeles riots.
Because domestic unrest had an impact on its first release, the company has successfully lobbied L.A. Mayor Tom Bradley to proclaim Jan. 13 “Motorama Day”– another example of the company’s offbeat gonzo approach to movie marketing.
“Having weathered the storms of an inaugural release, during no less than the Los Angeles city riots, we’re still here and holding our own,” Borchers said.
“‘Motorama’ is just Two Moon’s next step in assembling a fully integrated production, finance and distribution entity. I sign on to the popular wisdom that the ’90s are more about resourcefulness than resources.”