EXCLUSIVE: Gerard Butler’s latest action thriller Greenland will not be playing at U.S. movie theaters as the pic’s studio ErosSTX pivots the feature for a Premium Video On-Demand release sometime in the fourth quarter.
STX will control the PVOD window on the Ric Roman Waugh-directed movie. Additionally, we can tell you first, that HBO has shelled out a whopping $20M-$30M for Greenland‘s pay TV and streaming in the U.S. where the movie will debut on the pay-cable TV network and stream on HBO Max in early 2021.
That’s a huge deal, bigger than HBO’s global $17.5M acquisition out of TIFF last year for the Hugh Jackman-Allison Janney drama Bad Education, which recently went on to win Outstanding Television Movie at the Primetime Emmys. It speaks to the intense competition in the market right now among the digital players.
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There was at least one erroneous report online this week that Greenland‘s domestic release was headed exclusively to Amazon Prime. What we know to be true is that Greenland will in fact get a release on Amazon Prime in Canada, the UK and Australia after lucrative deals with the streamer. STX had been planning to release the movie itself in the UK.
The move by ErosSTX is a means to maximize its revenue on Greenland during the pandemic. The $35M production has already made $45M in revenue, and opened No. 1 in 22 (pandemic-blighted) markets for overseas box office of around $20M to date. Greenland will continue to roll-out theatrically in those international markets which have returned during the pandemic.
This is the second time since April that STX has shown itself to be nimble with its theatrical releases during the pandemic when box office is uncertain. We first told you that STX sold U.S. and key foreign territories on their Dave Bautista family comedy My Spy to Amazon Prime. Word was that My Spy was such a huge success on Amazon Prime after its debut on June 26 that STX is already exploring a sequel, as we also first reported.
With the domestic marketplace only 70% reopened, without major markets New York City and Los Angeles, the best means of distribution for Greenland was considered to be PVOD and streaming.
While the move to a home release is more disappointing news for exhibitors, in the end it’s a lucrative fall-back for STXEros. Previously, Greenland was set to open on Sept. 25 and moved to a TBD release date in 4Q. Like other studio movies, Greenland moved given the weak domestic marketplace which Warner Bros. has been weathering with Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, now $41.2M in U.S./Canada.
Said STXfilms Motion Picture Group chairman Adam Fogelson, “We conceived Greenland as a theatrical experience and audiences have responded strongly in every market where moviegoing is robust. In some markets, however, we need a different strategy to get the movie out in a timely and economically advantageous fashion. We’re excited that HBO customers will have the chance to enjoy Greenland next year following a PVOD run in America during the fourth quarter of this year. And we’re pleased to partner again with Amazon in UK, Canada and Australia. We are actively producing and acquiring an exciting slate of content for theaters going forward. They are, and will continue to be, our critical partners.”
In Greenland, a family fights for survival as a planet-killing comet races to Earth. John Garrity (Gerard Butler), his estranged wife Allison (Morena Baccarin), and young son Nathan make a perilous journey to their only hope for sanctuary. Amid terrifying news accounts of cities around the world being leveled by the comet’s fragments, the Garrity’s experience the best and worst in humanity. As the countdown to global apocalypse approaches zero, their incredible trek culminates in a desperate and last-minute flight to a possible safe haven.
David Denman, Hope Davis, Roger Dale Floyd, Andrew Bachelor, Merrin Dungey, Holt McCallany, and Scott Glenn also star. Greenland is written by Chris Sparling. Thunder Road Films’ Basil Iwanyk, who also developed the project, is producing with Butler and Alan Siegel via their G-Base production company. Anton financed and produced. Sèbastian Raybaud also produced.
Recently, Deadline also first reported that ErosSTX International scored $100M in cumulative international deals out of TIFF’s virtual market this year, repping their sales record for the festival.