One month after hitting iTunes, “Internet Famous” — a feature-length mockumentary about digital fame starring YouTube comedian Shane Dawson — will be available worldwide on Netflix starting Thursday, July 21.
The film, the first from Disney’s Maker Studios to hit Netflix, premiered on June 21 on Apple’s iTunes for $9.99 and reached No. 5 on the iTunes movie comedy chart. “Internet Famous” follows five fictional Internet personalities as they travel across the country to compete in a talent competition for a chance to land their own TV show. The gag: none of them have any real talent.
For Netflix, the movie is another digital-star vehicle that the streaming giant sees as key to appealing to younger audiences. The company’s original series “Haters Back Off,” starring Miranda Sings (played by Colleen Ballinger) is set to debut on the service Oct. 14, and Netflix has ordered a docu-series featuring social-media star Cameron Dallas. Netflix also currently is streaming “Smosh: The Movie” starring the popular YouTube comedy duo, from Defy Media and Awesomeness Films.
Maker’s pact with Netflix, meanwhile, is another example of how it’s diversifying content distribution beyond YouTube. And the movie is part of a bigger trend of studios using “social influencers” who have large, built-in fanbases to promote the product: Dawson has more than 7.5 million subscribers on YouTube and 3 million Twitter followers.
Popular on Variety
Cast of “Internet Famous” also includes Amanda Cerny (Comedy Central’s “Adam Devine’s House Party,” HBO’s “Hello Ladies”), Vine star Christian DelGrosso, Wendy McColm and Richard Ryan, as well as Missi Pyle (“Gone Girl,” “Two and a Half Men”), John Michael Higgins (“Pitch Perfect,” “Best In Show”), Roger Bart (“Revenge”) Adam Busch (“Empire”) and Tony Cavalero (“School of Rock”).
The movie is directed by Michael Gallagher (YouTube’s “TotallySketch”) and written and executive produced by Gallagher and comedian Steve Greene (“Real Life Trolling”), along with producers Jana Winternitz, Michael Wormser and Marc Reid. “Internet Famous” was produced by Lakeshore Entertainment’s Off The Dock and Maker Studios along with content studio Cinemand and Entertainment 360.
Maker Studios in September 2015 released its first film, musical “Summer Forever” starring singer-actor Megan Nicole, who rose to fame on YouTube. It’s currently available on Fullscreen’s subscription VOD service and iTunes, as well as other platforms.