Chill has secured exclusive digital distribution rights to "Birdemic 2: The Resurrection," the sequel to a cult classic that some dubbed the worst movie ever made.
Director James Ngyuen is in the middle of a multi-city tour that will bring his new film, in which eagles and vultures attacking Hollywood, to cities such as New York, San Francisco and London. Though Ngyuen had been speaking with other distributors suggesting more traditional release strategies, such as theatrical first and then DVD, Chill offered to make the film available just as the social buzz from the tour was kicking in.
"What better time to release it than when you've got word of mouth and social activity," Marc Hustvedt, head of entertainment at Chill, told The Wrap. "It runs like an extended crowdfunding campaign. The same dynamics are in play where you're posting regular updates, creating limited edition merchandise, telling a story and having the filmmakers participate in the process."
Chill, which last November transformed into a digital video storefront and on-demand site, has been staffing up in its marketing division. It will release signed posters and hand-puppets to fans of "Birdemic" after the film goes on sale Tuesday.
The film will be available exclusively on Chill for 90 days, selling for $9.99. It will then be available on iTunes and other digital platforms, with Chill netting a fraction of the revenue from those sales.
The company just hired George Rausch to oversee the distribution of its videos to other platforms, part of a series of hires better suited to the site's latest incarnation. Rausch joined the company from The Collective, a talent management and production company, where he oversaw theatrical and digital distribution for select films.
"A great film and great piece of entertainment is fluid; it needs to live in a lot of places," Hustvedt said. "To think Chill is the end-all-be-all is fallacy. Eventually it should be wide and widely distributed."
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