Streaming distributor Cineverse (formerly Cinedigm) is coming off a profitable fiscal quarter due in large part to the unexpected theatrical success of low-budget slasher movie Terrifier 2, which generated $15 million at the box office. The budding franchise, which has been extended to a third theatrical release slated for 2024, help jumpstart subscription’s to Cineverse’s Screambox streaming platform, among other revenue channels.
Since the movie’s success, Cineverse initiated a reverse stock split, changed its name and sold $8 million worth of new stock to help funding the company. At the same time, Wall Street has been a tough sell, with the company’s stock trading below Nasdaq’s $1 minimum per share pricing, until the reverse stock split.
In a June 21 statement, CEO Chris McGurk said the company has been building its streaming channel and content portfolio, predominantly through M&A and strategic partnerships, which has upped the library to more than 70,000 titles.
“The net result of this has been the rapid growth of our namesake channel, Cineverse, which has already reached the Top 10 of all streamers in terms of title depth and breadth,” McGurk said. “Our reputation in the industry as a company that can successfully monetize channels and IP has grown alongside our library, with more than 650 partners ranging from Hallmark and Konami to American Public Media and All3Media.”
But it was horror character Art the Clown, who menacing presence in 2016’s Terrifier and last year’s Terrifier 2 that put Cineverse on the map with moviegoers and streaming consumers.
“That perception rose to a whole new level over the last two quarters on the back of [that movie],” McGurk said, calling Art the Clown this generation’s Jason or Freddy Krueger.
“I have been involved with the release of hundreds of films, both studio-level and independent, and I have never seen a movie that has had such a high ROI and enormous box office-to-marketing-dollar ratio,” he said.
The executive said Cineverse leveraged the 80 million visitors and billions of ad impressions across its portfolio of streaming properties to drive awareness for the movie and generated millions of dollars in earned media value on venues such as “Good Morning America,” “The Howard Stern Show” and “Saturday Night Live” through the effective viral and social marketing efforts of its Bloody Disgusting horror group.
The buzz more-than-tripled paid subscribers on the company’s Screambox horror channel. Most importantly, McGurk said the movie’s success created an industry-wide perception of major momentum for the company and underscored that Cineverse had become a key new destination to bring important IP.
The executive claims Cineverse has a “flood” of new partnership and M&A opportunities for “high value IP” over the past 90 days, which includes the Sid & Marty Krofft library.
“We are in the final stages of closing deals for one of the most loved, successful and profitable nonfiction television brands of all time, a highly valuable and recognizable children’s library of IP, and a seminal brand & library in the horror space,” McGurk said. “For these five deals alone, we beat out competing offers from at least three major studios and a major cable conglomerate.”