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Outbreak Thriller ‘Viral’ Forgoes Theatrical Release (EXCLUSIVE)

Viral,” a thriller about a deadly outbreak that brings a community to its knees, will be forgoing a theatrical release, Variety has learned.

The micro-budget release is being backed by Blumhouse Productions, the makers of “Paranormal Activity” and “The Purge,” and is distributed by Dimension Films, the Weinstein Company label that is primarily concerned with horror films and other genre projects. It was originally scheduled to debut on Feb. 19, where it would have gone up against the faith-based drama “Risen,” the horror film “The Witch” and the historical drama “Race.”

Blumhouse and Dimension have yet to decide on an alternative releasing strategy. Blumhouse has experimented through its BH Tilt label with several different forms of distribution, including launching films in smaller and more targeted collections of theaters or on video on-demand platforms. The companies may go the VOD route with “Viral,” or debut the picture on streaming services or on television.

“Viral” centers on two sisters, Emma (Sofia Black D’Elia) and Stacey (Analeigh Tipton), whose humdrum lives in a suburban neighborhood are upended when their county is gripped by a parasitic virus. They find themselves quarantined and must fight to survive as others around them become infected.

Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, the duo behind “Catfish” and “Paranormal Activity 3,” co-directed the film from a script by Barbara Marshall and Christopher Landon.

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