Teen movie “The Outfield,” toplined by digital stars Nash Grier and Cameron Dallas, has become the best-selling drama on Apple’s iTunes Store within two days of its release, beating out “Jurassic World.”
However, Fullscreen Films’ “The Outfield” failed to unseat two summer releases — Universal Pictures’ “Trainwreck” starring Amy Schumer and Disney-Pixar’s “Inside Out” — on the overall iTunes movie rankings in the U.S.
That’s despite coordinated social-media campaign by Fullscreen, with the hashtag #OutfieldToNumberOne that incorporated in the film’s stars, to urge fans to push the movie about three high-school baseball players to the top iTunes position. The company has promised to give away autographed practice shirts and “dirty baseballs” to customers if “The Outfield” hit the No. 1 spot.
Still, the strong showing of “The Outfield” shows the power of the “influencer-driven” movie model, which leverages talent with massive digital followings to keep marketing and promotion costs down. Grier, 17, has 12.3 million followers on Vine, more than 4 million on YouTube and 5.1 million on Twitter. The 21-year-old Dallas has 8.8 million Vine followers and 5.6 million on Twitter.
“The Outfield,” available for $9.99 exclusively from iTunes, also currently holds the No. 1 spot for sports and independent movies on the service in the U.S., and is the top seller in many international markets.
It’s not clear exactly how much revenue Fullscreen stands to reap from the release. Apple doesn’t release sales figures, and Fullscreen isn’t disclosing download numbers either.
Other movies with digital stars that have performed well include this summer’s “Smosh: The Movie,” from Defy Media and AwesomenessTV, which debuted at the No. 1 spot on Apple’s iTunes comedy chart. AwesomenessTV’s “Expelled,” a teen comedy starring Dallas, topped the overall iTunes movie ranking on the first day of release in December 2014.
Alongside Grier and Dallas, “The Outfield” stars actor and standup comedian Joey Bragg. The cast also includes Caroline Sunshine (“Shake It Up”), Olivia Stuck (“Kirby Buckets”), Alan Smyth (“Persons Unknown”), Deborah S. Craig (“Transparent”), Mike Hyland (“Jane the Virgin”) and Burnie Burns (Rooster Teeth’s “Lazer Team”).
“The Outfield” is directed by Eli Gonda and Michael Goldfine (who recently exited as Fullscreen’s chief content officer) and produced by Goldfine and Gil Kruger.
Fullscreen held a “green carpet” premiere for “The Outfield” Monday evening at Universal CityWalk Hollywood.