Theatrical deals, Savage Cinema, Red Bull Media House alliances - signs of growth in action/adventure sports sector
SAN SEBASTIAN — Red Bull Media House (RBMH), the co-organizer of San Sebastian’s Festival’s Savage Cinema, a six-title selection of extreme sports, outdoor and adventure cinema, has closed a U.S. deal on its centerpiece 2014 production, motorcycle culture docu-feature “On Any Sunday, The Next Chapter,” which world premieres Sept. 26 at San Sebastian.
Directed by Dana Brown (“Step Into Liquid,” “Dust To Glory”), and a follow-up to father Bruce Brown’s seminal 1971 docu, “The Next Chapter” is an insider’s look at the pursuit of excitement, passion and life in the world of motorcycle raiding. It is produced by Freeride Entertainment (“Where the Trail Ends,” “Masters of Movement,” “Cold War”) for RBMH, which handles international sales.
Featuring two-wheel superstars – MotoGP rider Marc Marquez, Robbie Maddison, the modern-day Evel Knievel, just for starters – “On Any Sunday, The Next Chapter” will be released Nov. 7 on 250 theaters in the U.S., Philipp Manderla, RBMH head of feature films, said at San Sebastian.
Circuits featuring “The Next Chapter ” include Regal Entertainment (Edwards and United Artists), AMC, Cinemark, Carmike Cinemas, Harkins, Laemmle, Marcus and Malco Theaters.
“The Next Chapter’s” premiere will take place at the Dolby Atmos multidimensional sound experience at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood on Oct. 22. Part of Hollywood Blvd. will be shut down for a one-of-a-kind motorcycle cruise-in, per RBMH sources.
In further deals, Italy’s Space Cinemas will open “The Next Chapter” on 120 screens. Wanda Films has Spanish rights.
“The Next Chapter” is RBMH’s first movie shot entirely in 4K Ultra HD. The U.S. deal also raises the bar for action sports movies’ Stateside theatrical distribution. Savage Cinema, a non-competitive, curated section, is also a step-up in terms of major festival play and the platform it provides. “It’s a great opportunity to give our films, whether produced out of our headquarters in Austria or North American productions, an excellent start in Europe,” Manderla said.
He added: “As a media house we have a constant need for content and high quality content. RBMH is constantly growing. All of the films in the strong Savage Cinema lineups last year and this are of interest to RBMH one way or another. Savage Cinema is unrivalled in the action sports world in terms of how many world and European premieres of the champions of the genre. “
Savage Cinema movie producers include pioneering sector leaders such as Teton Gravity Research (“Higher”), Sender Films (“Valley Uprising”) and Matchstick Productions (“Days of My Youth,” a RBMH production). Other outfits are up-and-coming indies, such as France’s Petit Dragon (“Dangerous Dave”).
“What we’d love to do is premiere films in the Red Bull environment, supporting the release of our production partners, who are often very focused still on the transactional VOD business. For us, it’s a win-win situation and we want to build that out and Savage Cinema is certainly a great tool to do so,” Manderla said.
The action/adventure sports sector is “a sleeping giant,” he added. There’s a “huge potential” audience out there, he argued, citing one fact: the Winter Olympics’ most watched event used to be female figure skating. As of 2010, it’s half-pike snowboarding.
For Manderla, action sports movies’ funding mechanisms and viewing habits are changing.
Theatrical, for instance, is gaining ground. ”Cerro Torre,” one of RBMH’s flagship 2013 productions, is the third biggest Austrian box office hit in Austria last year, and did “solid” B.O. in Germany. Thanks in part to Savage Cinema, it also bowed theatrically in Japan (Synca) and Italy (Space Cinemas). “Cerro Torre” will open the Banff Mountain Festival on Nov.1. Polar Star has bought Latin American rights, Vendetta Australia. Russia and other markets are under negotiations. iTunes will release “Cerro Torre” mid-October.
Manderla would like RBMH to level up in several ways.
“We definitely need to approach this world from a fictional perspective though I’m very aware it’s a delicate project. We need to find the right production. And we need collectively with production partners to level up the entire market segment, creating alliances and models beneficial to all sides.”