Cineverse Launching Bloody Press to Publish Audiobooks, E-Books and Print

Cineverse Nov. 16 announced plans to expand the company’s revenue-generating opportunities in audio and publishing with the launch of Bloody Press.

Under the direction of the Bloody Disgusting team at Cineverse, Bloody Press will focus on creating and bringing audiobooks, e-books and print editions to market. The division’s first title, an adaptation of 2022’s theatrical hit Terrifier 2, will debut in February 2024. It will be penned by Tim Waggoner (author of the best-selling Halloween Ends novelization for Universal Pictures) and will be available in all of the above formats.

The company also plans to follow with novelizations of the original Terrifier and of the upcoming Terrifier 3, launching day-and-date with next year’s theatrical premiere of the latter on Oct. 25, 2024.  A collectible three-volume set is expected to then be available for the holidays.

“From the theatrical success of independent films such as Terrifier 2, to the triple-digit growth at Screambox, two years since acquiring the streamer, we have amassed a strong track record in horror,” Erick Opeka, president and chief strategy officer, at Cineverse, said in a statement. “Tom Owen, Brad Miska and the entire Bloody Disgusting team have not only shown the ability to identify and develop great horror content, but also to drive new revenue for the company overall, across every medium, including audio, consumer products, and now publishing.”

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Cineverse is also bowing two podcast premieres in summer 2024 — a Terrifier podcast and “Dead Space: Deep Cover,” based on the Dead Space video game (produced in conjunction with Electronic Arts).

The podcasts follow the successful Oct. 31 bow of the podcast “The Dead,” from Bloody Disgusting and The George A. Romero Foundation, which quickly entered the Top 10 on Apple’s podcast charts in the fiction category.

Cineverse to Re-Release Slasher Hit ‘Terrifier 2’ in Theaters on Nov. 8

Cineverse, in partnership with Bloody Disgusting, Aug. 28 announced it would re-release its 2022 box office hit Terrifier 2 in theaters, beginning  Nov. 8.

The movie, about a sociopath clown (Art the Clown) who terrifies a teenage brother and sister on Halloween night in a small town, not only put Cineverse on the map theatrically, it helped the home entertainment distributor jumpstart Screambox subscriptions, in addition to generating a profitable fiscal quarter.

The low-budget ($250,000) slasher sequel was originally released on the big screen last October, generating more than $11 million at the domestic box office. The movie’s subsequent release on the Screambox digital platform led to the fastest pace of subscriber acquisitions, up 144%.

“It achieved revenues of roughly 60 times the production cost and was powered almost exclusively by social marketing,” Chris McGurk, CEO of Cineverse, said in a statement earlier this year.

Terrifier 2 is written and directed by Damien Leone (All Hallow’s Eve). The film marked the next chapter for Art (David Howard Thornton), who returns with a vengeance. Co-stars included newcomer Lauren LaVera, Samantha Scaffidi reprised her role as Victoria Heyes, and Felissa Rose (Sleepaway Camp) and professional wrestler Chris Jericho (AEW) made cameos appearances.

“[The movie’s] return to theaters is the perfect farewell to the Halloween season,” Brad Miska, managing director of Cineverse/Bloody Disgusting, said in a statement. “This exemplifies the pinnacle of horror cinema, an experience that etches itself into memory.”

In June, Cineverse announced it had acquired all North American rights to Terrifier 3 from producer Dark Age Cinema. The movie will be released theatrically in 2024.

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Cineverse CEO Basing Company’s Growth in Part on Horror Character ‘Art the Clown’

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.

CEO Chris McGurk

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.”

Cinedigm Posts Q3 Profit, Revenue and Subscriber Increases

Home entertainment distributor/streaming technology company Cinedigm Feb. 14 announced a fiscal home run. The Los Angeles-based company reported third-quarter (ended Dec. 31, 2022) net income of nearly $5 million on revenue of almost $28 million. That compared with a loss of $404,000 on revenue of $14 million during the previous-year period.

“Our strong momentum continued in the fiscal third quarter with our business firing on all cylinders as we close in on our goal of sustainable profitability and positive cash flow,” CEO Chris McGurk said in a statement.

Cinedigm posted record revenue in its streaming business with advertising-supported and subscription streaming revenue growth of 79% and 38%, respectively, over the prior-year quarter and growth of 258% and 189%, respectively, on a two-year basis.

The company’s SVOD platforms, which include Screambox, Dove Channel, CONtv and Docurama, in addition to 30 separate free ad-supported streaming platforms, ended the quarter with more than 1.22 million paid subscribers from 953,000 subscribers during the previous-year period.

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The company’s distribution business saw a 72% jump in revenue led by the box office sleeper Terrifier 2 ($14.7 million in global ticket sales) across theatrical, TVOD and streaming. Cinedigm expects the horror genre to over-index in the coming months, with continued strong incremental revenue from the Terrifier sequel, and the recent release of The Outwaters.

Total streaming revenue increased 63% to $8.9 million from $5.46 million in the previous-year period, driven by a 79% increase in ad-supported revenue and a 38% increase in subscription revenue.

Content and entertainment revenue shot up 72% to $20.7 million, driven by user growth, movie performances, increasing market demand for Cinedigm’s extensive Connected TV ad inventory, and the impact of new streaming channels versus the prior year.

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Erick Opeka, chief strategy officer and president, said the September launch of streaming platform Cineverse, included the relaunch of Screambox, Fandor and Dove Channel, enabled the company to scale and generate record subscriber growth in the quarter.

“Our omni-channel approach to advertising across web, mobile, AVOD, FAST, audio and social media drove heavy demand from advertisers during the quarter,” Opeka said.

Streaming minutes in the quarter rose to approximately 2.14 billion, up 60% from 1.34 billion during the prior-year quarter. The ad-supported streaming audience, including web, mobile, social and connected TVs, increased to about 82.9 million average monthly viewers, up 151% from 54.9 million average monthly viewers in the same quarter of the previous year.

Cinedigm Continues to Set Records With ‘Terrifier 2’ Slasher Movie

Cinedigm Nov. 18 announced it has seen a record number of subscriber sign-ups for its horror streaming service Screambox following the launch of Terrifier 2 on the platform. Launched on Oct. 31, the release of Terrifier 2 has led to the fastest pace of subscriber acquisitions, with Screambox subs up 144% over the past two weeks. 

Up against studio heavy hitters such as Nope and Ticket to ParadiseTerrifier 2 has carved out its place among the week’s top performers on transactional video-on-demand (TVOD), finding itself in the top 10 after just a couple of days on the market. The movie landed No. 2 on Vudu, No. 5 on Google Play and No. 7 on Apple TV.

The results follow the movie’s successful theatrical run that generated $11 million. Terrifier 2 not only defied industry expectations, but the standard theatrical lifecycle jumping 28% from week 1 to 2, 70% from week 2 to 3 and 8.5% from week 3 to 4. 

Terrifier 2 continues to buck all conventions with its incredible subscriber and transactional performance,” Erick Opeka, chief strategy officer of Cinedigm, said in a statement.

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Opeka said the movie underscores Cinedigm’s evolved distribution strategy that focuses on multiple paths of monetizing movies and shows ahead of and during their premiere on streaming.

“We think this model not only allows us to bring new release titles more cost-effectively to our streaming services but also drives far greater awareness of new series than what would otherwise be possible,” he said. “We look forward to expanding this proven model to theatrical and digital releases for our streaming portfolio including Fandor, Midnight Pulp, Asian Crush, and many more.”

Cinedigm’s Low-Budget Slasher Film ‘Terrifier 2’ Continues to ‘Kill It’ at the Box Office

Cinedigm’s low-budget slasher movie Terrifier 2 generated another $1.8 million at the North American box office, upping its worldwide gross revenue past $7.7 million on a reported production budget around $250,000.

Distributed by the home entertainment company’s Bloody Disgusting unit, Terrifier 2, which opened the weekend of Oct. 6-9 with $805,000 in ticket sales, is being shown across almost 3,000 theaters.

The title is the latest smaller-budget horror movie (along with Paramount Pictures’ Smile, A24’s Pearl, X, Bodies Bodies Bodies, and Sony Pictures’ The Invitation) to more than hold its own against bigger-budget releases such as Universal Pictures’ Halloween Ends, The Black Phone and Paramount’s Scream. 

Separately, Lionsgate’s Prey for the Devil opened to an estimated $7 million over the Halloween weekend at 2,980 locations. According to a studio rep, the film’s debut is in line with expectations, has a low production budget and is well positioned to benefit from the continued strong demand for horror fare.

Indeed, the horror genre, with about $1.1 billion in box office revenue in 2019 and an estimated $2.3 billion in global revenue, remains one of the most popular and profitable genres in the entertainment industry today.

But bigger doesn’t always mean better, according to Brad Miska, managing director at Bloody Disgusting, who admits the movie’s box office success might be a surprise, but after seeing the film knew the horror community would fall in love with it.

“Movie fans are so desensitized by big studio horror, and the film offers something unique for the first time in nearly 50 years: the promise of danger,” Miska said.

Terrifier 2 begins streaming on Cinedigm’s SVOD and ad-supported platform Screambox on Halloween (Oct. 31).

“We are sure fans will be coming back again and again to see the iconic Art the Clown and everyone’s new final girl Sienna,” Miska said.

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Warner’s ‘Black Adam’ Takes Second Weekend Box Office with $27.7 Million

Warner Bros. Pictures’ anti-superhero movie Black Adam continued its box office supremacy, generating an estimated $27.7 million in ticket sales through Oct. 30. The DC Comics-based movie starring Dwayne Johnson in the title role now reportedly tops $111 million in North America after two weekends, and $250 million worldwide.

In the runner-up position for the second weekend was Universal Pictures’ romantic comedy Ticket to Paradise, starring Julia Roberts and George Clooney, with a projected $10 million in revenue, $33.7 million in North American revenue, and $119 million globally.

Lionsgate’s new release, religious-based thriller Prey for the Devil, opened with an estimated $7 million across almost 3,000 North American screens.

Befitting the Halloween weekend, several other horror-themed movies resonated among moviegoers, including Paramount Pictures’ sleeper hit Smile with $5 million in ticket sales to push its North American tally past $92 million and $176 million globally.

Universal’s Halloween Ends is set to sell another $3.8 million worth of tickets to bring its North American tally to $60 million, $90 million globally. The movie has been streaming for free to Peacock Premium subscribers since its theatrical debut.

Finally, Cinedigm’s low-budget slasher film Terrifier 2, which is distributed through the home entertainment company’s Bloody Disgusting business unit, added another $1.8 million in revenue across 1,550 screens to up its tally past $7.6 million. The movie was reportedly produced for $250,000.

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