Get Out, Jordan Peele's dark comedy about race relations in America that proved a critics' darling and a commercial bonanza, grossing nearly $180 million worldwide since its release in February, will be feted at a May 9 "garden party" on the Universal lot that will be attended by members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and Broadcast Film Critics Association, among others. But contrary to appearances, sources close to the film insist, it's not an event designed to court end-of-the-year awards.
Instead, the gathering - which is being organized by Universal Home Entertainment and will feature clips of the film, a conversation with the filmmakers and a "garden party" on the studio's Colonial Street - is timed to coincide with the May 9 debut of the film on Amazon and iTunes, which will be followed on May 23 by its release on DVD and Blu-ray.
It's not unprecedented for early awards contenders to receive this sort of promotion - Universal itself did similar press-courting for 2003's Seabiscuit - but it has become less common in recent years, as the glut of awards hopefuls have been released much later in the year.
For the backers of Get Out, though, it's a no-lose opportunity: They have cash to spend, having made far more at the box office than anyone ever anticipated, and their talent will be in town to attend the MTV Movie & TV Awards two days earlier. So, if they can keep their awards buzz going into the summer, well then, why not?