After a very promising first weekend in theaters, Radius-TWC has opted to delay the planned March 27 video-on-demand release of horror pic “It Follows” in favor of a wide theatrical expansion over the next two weekends.
“The movie is performing big, so we are going to chase it,” said David Glasser, chief operating officer of the Weinstein Co.
“It Follows” opened last weekend with a surprising $160,089 at four theaters — two in Los Angeles and two in New York. It will move into about 40 theaters on Friday and more than 1,000 theaters on the following Friday, Glasser said.
Glasser did not disclose the date of the VOD release. But the list of theaters showing “It Follows” includes a pair of AMC multiplexes, which indicates that the date won’t come within the next few weeks.
Major chains such as AMC continue to strongly oppose VOD releases while a film is playing theatrically.
“The Weinstein Company made a smart decision,” said Patrick Corcoran, a spokesman for the National Association of Theaters Owners told Variety. “We are in favor of exploiting theatrical opportunities to the fullest. We are in favor of exploiting every window to the fullest. It’s good to see that TWC understood that a short or simultaneous VOD window limited the earnings potential of ‘It Follows.’”
“It Follows,” directed by David Robert Mitchell from his own script, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last year. Variety’s Peter Debruge said, “This stylish, suspenseful chiller should significantly broaden Mitchell’s audience without disappointing his early supporters in the slightest.”
“It Follows,” which has a 95% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, centers on teens pursued by a deadly presence after they’ve engaged in sex. Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Daniel Zovatto and Jake Weary star.
The film was produced for under $2 million by Animal Kingdom, Northern Lights Films and Two Flints.
Radius-TWC was set up to handle specialty titles with a VOD component. Its top grosser came in 2013 with “Twenty Feet from Stardom” at $4.9 million, followed by last year’s “Snowpiercer” at $4.5 million.
The label has scored back-to-back wins for the best documentary Oscar with “Twenty Feet From Stardom” and “Citizenfour.”