A Nov. 28th, 2011 post in The Wrap suggests that "debuting movies on video-on-demand simultaneously -- or even in advance of -- theatrical release" has become the strategy of choice for non-studio films, allowing companies such as Magnolia (and IFC and Roadside Attractions) "to recoup most of their investment without having to orchestrate expensive print campaigns and costly national rollouts for movies that may not play well in Middle America."
Eamonn Bowles, president and co-founder of Magnolia Pictures, told The Wrap. “Platform releasing, where you opened in a couple of theaters and hoped to expand later, was a recipe for disaster. The paradigm was broken, so we had no choice but to hit on something that made sense.”
According to The Wrap, the new-new strategy for a successful indie film release is VOD. For example, Magnolia has recently orchestrated eye-popping VOD numbers (around $4 million in VOD revenue each) for films that were not big theatrical hits, such as Andrew Jarackei’s “All Good Things” (which only earned $367,000 in domestic ticket sales, but went on to earn $4 million from VOD), Neil Marshall’s “Centurion,” the medieval horror film “Black Death” and the Japanese action film “13 Assassins.”
Loyal readers of this blog might recall that I wrote about the explosive growth in VOD in general back in January of 2011. It looks as if Magnolia is starting to use that consumer acceptance of VOD to make money for some independent filmmakers.