You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

BitTorrent Crowd Swarms Over ‘Arthur Newman’ Preview (Exclusive)

File-sharing app users download 1 million clips in five days prior to pic’s premeire

In less than five days, BitTorrent users worldwide pulled down more than 1 million copies of a 10-minute preview of Cinedigm-distributed “Arthur Newman,” which opens in limited release Friday.

Studio last week announced promotional pact with the file-sharing software firm — long a bête noire of Hollywood and other content industries, many of which still view BitTorrent as facilitating rampant piracy.

Cinedigm pact could be start of shift in that perception, as BitTorrent offers a base of 170 million active users monthly. The 1 million-plus “Arthur Newman” downloads via the app compare with just under 20,000 views of studio’s official trailer on YouTube over the past three weeks.

Cinedigm marketing chief Jill Newhouse Calcaterra touted early results from BitTorrent tie-up as “phenomenal,” noting indies rarely hit 2 million trailer views on YouTube over their entire lifespan.

“We feel that it will pay off, both in our limited release this weekend, but also importantly in all the downstreams, where the majority of revenue is generated,” she said.

A source at a major studio, though, characterized the project as a marketing stunt rather than something that would fundamentally change the biz, adding that BitTorrent’s “’we hope the studios catch up to our new way of looking at the world’ smugness is off-putting.”

Popular on Variety

Of those who downloaded and watched the “Arthur Newman” preview, 20% clicked on link to Cinedigm’s site for the pic, according to BitTorrent marketing veep Matt Mason. BitTorrent’s “Arthur Newman” package, promoted on company’s website and directly in the download app, also includes 52 set photos and a high-res movie poster.

“A year ago, we weren’t having a ton of conversations” with studios or music labels, Mason said. “Now we’re talking to everyone. We can bring the fans. Now we have to make it work for content creators.”

No money is changing hands under the Cinedigm-BitTorrent deal. San Francisco-based BitTorrent generates revenue through display ads in software client as well as from selling ad-free premium versions.

While BitTorrent is trying to change how Hollywood sees file-sharing platform, the software remains — and will continue to be — a primary way Internet users pilfer films and TV shows, as well as music, software, games and more. Those pirated files, however, are independent of the content BitTorrent seeds through its own official tracker.

“Arthur Newman” stars Colin Firth and Emily Blunt. Firth plays Wallace Avery, a depressed divorced dad who fakes his own death, fashions a new identity and meets a troubled woman (Blunt) on a cross-country road trip. Pic directed by first-time helmer Dante Ariola and written by Becky Johnston (“Prince of Tides” and “Seven Years in Tibet”).

Cinedigm acquired U.S. distribution rights to “Arthur Newman” last November, two months after premiere at Toronto Film Festival. Pic debuted April 18 in L.A. Film was produced by Vertebra Films and Cross Creek Pictures.

More Digital

  • Morning Show Apple

    Golden Globe Noms: 'The Morning Show' Turns Apple TV Plus Into a Kudos Contender

    “Euphoric” was the word to describe the atmosphere around the Apple TV Plus offices in Culver City, Calif., on Monday morning as staffers awoke to the news that the fledgling service’s cornerstone drama series, “The Morning Show,” had landed three major Golden Globe Award nominations. Apple Worldwide Video had exactly two employees — heads Jamie [...]

  • Game of Thrones Avengers Endgame

    'Game of Thrones,' 'Avengers: Endgame' Among Most Popular Tweets of 2019

    Twitter released its top-trending topics and tweets of 2019 with “Game of Thrones,” “Avengers: Endgame,” and actor Tom Holland commanding the most tweets in the TV, movies, and actors categories. BTS holds both the No. 1 spot in the most-tweeted-about musicians category and the second-most-retweeted tweet worldwide. Since its release in June, a video of [...]

  • Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates his side's

    Canal Plus, beIN Sports In Exclusive Talks For Distribution Deal

    Vivendi-owned pay-TV banner Canal Plus Group and the global network beIN Sports have started exclusive talks to sign a five-year exclusive distribution and sub-licensing deal in France. The two companies previously tried to forge a partnership in 2016 but it was denied by France’s anti-trust board. Under the proposed deal, Canal Plus would distribute all [...]

  • NBCUniversal Peacock

    Comcast to Spend $2 Billion on NBCU's Peacock Streaming Service in First Two Years

    Comcast expects to pump $2 billion into NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service in aggregate over 2020 and 2021, while the company is projecting it will not be profitable for the first five years, according to CFO Mike Cavanagh. Cavanagh, who provided the details Monday at UBS’s Global TMT Conference in New York City, tried to put [...]

  • Watcher Entertainment - Steven Lim, Ryan

    Ex-BuzzFeed Video Staffers Launch Watcher Entertainment Digital Studio (EXCLUSIVE)

    UPDATED: After building their careers as internet personalities at BuzzFeed, the creators and hosts of three of the company’s biggest shows — Steven Lim, Ryan Bergara and Shane Madej — have formed their own digital-video venture. They quit BuzzFeed earlier this year and founded L.A.-based Watcher Entertainment, with the trio looking to get full creative [...]

  • 25. Oktober 2019, Berlin, Deutschland, JustWatch[Foto:

    Streaming Guide JustWatch Acquires Video Search Engine GoWatchIt (EXCLUSIVE)

    Berlin-based streaming guide JustWatch has acquired media search engine GoWatchIt from Plexus Entertainment, and is using the acquisition to open up its first office in New York. Terms of the deal, which was stock- and cash-based, haven’t been disclosed. GoWatchIt founder and CEO David Larkin will join JustWatch as its new senior vice president of [...]

  • CBS Joins Open AP Audience-Targeting Alliance

    CBS Joins Open AP Audience-Targeting Alliance

    “Young Sheldon” leads CBS’ Thursday-night schedule. Soon it may help to lead advertisers to a new way of placing their commercials. CBS has joined “Open AP,” the audience-targeting alliance working to accelerate the emerging advertising practice known as “audience buying.” Open AP works to give advertisers a way to buy impressions from particular types of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content