Fine Bros. Entertainment, which operates one of the most popular channels on YouTube, is producing an untitled feature-length teen comedy — billed as a spin on genre staples like “Mean Girls” and “Can’t Hardly Wait” — in association with Big Block Entertainment Group.
Benny and Rafi Fine will write, direct and produce the film, which will take “an over-the-top look at the clique-filled world of high school.” The Fine Bros. have more than 10.7 million subscribers on their main YouTube channel, which generates 140 million monthly views.
“We haven’t made a feature-length film since we were teenagers, and we’re excited to be making one now,” Benny and Rafi Fine said in a statement.
Details about the movie’s release date and distribution have yet to be determined. Producers say a limited theatrical release is possible, with the film expected to be released primarily through direct-to-consumer digital channels like Apple’s iTunes.
Big Block’s Tom Pellegrini and Scott Prisand will produce with Scott Benson executive producing. Pellegrini has produced such films as the documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”; “Hesher,” starring Natalie Portman and Joseph Gordon-Levitt; “Sympathy for Delicious,” starring Mark Ruffalo, Laura Linney and Orlando Bloom; and “Barry Munday,” starring Patrick Wilson and Judy Greer. Prisand has produced Broadway shows “Rock of Ages,” “Legally Blonde,” “Bombay Dreams” and “BKLYN the Musical” as well as films including “Rock of Ages” and “Jiro Dreams of Sushi.” Benson is the founder and CEO of Big Block Media Holding and has also produced “Heathers: The Musical,” “Inappropriate” and “Ride,” starring Helen Hunt and Luke Wilson.
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The Fine Bros.’ manager and producing partner Max Benator will also exec produce. Benator last month launched digital-focused studio Supergravity Pictures with Marc Hustvedt. “The creative is perfect for a non-traditional release,” Benator said.
Another top YouTube duo, Smosh’s Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox, are starring in their own feature-length teen comedy, “The Smosh Movie.” Lionsgate has acquired global distribution rights for the film; the release date and distribution strategy have not yet been announced.
Meanwhile, “Camp Takota” — a comedy starring popular YouTubers Grace Helbig, Hannah Hart and Mamrie Hart — has been licensed by Netflix, which made the film available to U.S. subscribers on Dec. 1.
In addition, DreamWorks Animation’s AwesomenessTV is set to debut high-school comedy film “Expelled” starring Vine’s Cameron Dallas on Dec. 10 before releasing it on download-to-own services and VOD. And YouTube star Shane Dawson made a feature-length movie, “Not Cool,” as part of Starz reality series “The Chair,” winning $250,000 based on a vote by viewers.
Big Block’s Benson said digital distribution allows for reduced price points and reduces risk associated with developing niche content. “The Fine Brothers are masters at creating great shortform content and have a loyal base of fans that deserve to see a longform video presentation of their creative production,” he said.
Benny and Rafi Fine as well as Big Block are repped by WME.