‘Bill & Ted Face the Music’ VOD Release Moving Up to Aug. 28

Bill & Ted Face the Music will come out on VOD and in select theaters Aug. 28, moving up from the Sept. 1 date announced during Comic-Con@Home.

Bill & Ted star Alex Winter revealed the news on Twitter.

In the Orion Pictures film, the stakes are higher than ever for the time-traveling William  “Bill” S. Preston Esq. (Alex Winter) and Theodore  “Ted” Logan (Keanu Reeves). To fulfill their rock and roll destiny, the now middle-aged best friends set out on a new adventure when a visitor from the future warns them that only their song can save life as we know it. Along the way, they will be helped by their daughters, a new batch of historical figures, and a few music legends to seek the song that will set their world right and bring harmony in the universe.

 

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Doc ‘The Blech Effect’ Coming to VOD and EST Aug. 25 From Virgil

The documentary The Blech Effect: The Rise and Fall of the King of Biotech will come out on VOD and electronic sellthrough Aug. 25 from Virgil Films.

The film chronicles the life of David Blech, who would be a multi-billionaire — if only he were in a coma for the last 15 years. In his early 20s, David was a pioneer investor in biotech companies and helped create an industry that has grown to be on the cutting edge of the world’s greatest medical cures, saving countless lives. Blech’s wealth grew with the industry. According to Forbes Magazine, he was once worth more than $300 million, and he was on the Fortune 400 list. He became known as the “King of Biotech” and his influence on the market coined the term “The Blech Effect.” But Blech struggled with bipolar disorder and a gambling addiction. He once hoped to be remembered for helping to create an industry that saves lives; instead he ended up $11 million in debt, struggling to keep his family afloat and awaiting a jail sentence.

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The Blech Effect follows a protagonist all too self-aware yet still unable to control his worst impulses, a wife and mother who is both a saint and enabler, and a beloved child heartbreaking in his beauty and disability.

AMC, Universal Strike Landmark PVOD Distribution Deal

Universal Film Entertainment Group and AMC Theatres July 28 announced a landmark distribution deal for the studio’s new release movies, which includes provisions for early debuts into the home on premium VOD.

The deal allows Universal, which has aggressively launched movies into retail channels via PVOD during the coronavirus pandemic — creating an acrimonious rift with the nation’s largest exhibitor, AMC, and others — to distribute titles on PVOD three weekends (as little as 17 days) after their initial bow in AMC Theatres. The agreement, which also includes new titles from Focus Features, will afford early consumer access via AMC Theatres On Demand. In the coming weeks, the two companies will begin discussions surrounding international distribution agreements in the countries in Europe and the Middle East served by AMC.

The typical theatrical window has been up to three months. AMC will split the $20 PVOD fee with Universal in return for the abridged window. The agreement does not include the typical retail window when titles are rented and sold from $3 to $6 through myriad digital channels such as Redbox, iTunes, Amazon Video, Google Play and Movies Anywhere.

Universal’s traditional windows for electronic sellthrough and video on demand (VOD) remain unchanged. The companies said they reached this agreement based on their “shared commitment” to a mutually beneficial long-term partnership that is focused on serving consumers worldwide, while preserving and enhancing the theatrical experience.

As a result, the deal means when the next “Fast & Furious” installment, F9, hits theaters April 2, 2021, Universal could give consumers the choice to either see it in the cineplex or wait a few weeks to buy or rent it.

“The theatrical experience continues to be the cornerstone of our business,” Donna Langley, chairman of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, said in a statement. “The partnership we’ve forged with AMC is driven by our collective desire to ensure a thriving future for the film distribution ecosystem and to meet consumer demand with flexibility and optionality.”

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Peter Levinsohn, Vice Chairman and Chief Distribution Officer of UFEG, who led negotiations on behalf of the studio, said the studio’s commitment to innovation in how it delivers content to audiences is what artists, partners and shareholders expect of Hollywood.

“We are excited about the opportunity this new structure presents to grow our business,” Levinsohn said. “We are grateful to AMC for their partnership and the leadership they have shown in working with us to reach this historic deal.”

AMC CEO Adam Aron, who said the chain “enthusiastically embraces this new industry model,” said the deal puts a premium on the long-term health of the exhibition industry.

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“We would note that just as restaurants have thrived even though every home has a kitchen, AMC is highly confident that moviegoers will come to our theatres in huge numbers in a post-pandemic world,” Aron said. “As people enjoy getting out of their homes, we believe the mystical escape and magical communal experience offered at our theatres will always be a compelling draw, including as it does our big screens, big sound and big seats not to mention the alluring aroma of our perfectly prepared popcorn.”

AMC is planning to reopen about 600 U.S. theaters in August.

‘Bill & Ted Face the Music’ Getting Simultaneous VOD and Theatrical Release Sept. 1

Bill & Ted Face the Music, the third installment in the “Bill & Ted” franchise, is heading to VOD Sept. 1 on the same day it hits theaters (that are open).

In the Orion Pictures film, the stakes are higher than ever for the time-traveling William “Bill” S. Preston Esq. (Alex Winter) and Theodore “Ted” Logan (Keanu Reeves). To fulfill their rock and roll destiny, the now middle-aged best friends set out on a new adventure when a visitor from the future warns them that only their song can save life as we know it. Along the way, they will be helped by their daughters, a new batch of historical figures, and a few music legends to seek the song that will set their world right and bring harmony in the universe.

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Bill & Ted Face the Music is directed by Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest), from a screenplay by Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon (Bill & Ted’s Excellent AdventureBill & Ted’s Bogus Journey).

The news came as Orion released the official poster and trailer during the online Comic-Con@Home.

VOD Not Just for Catch-Up Viewing

With the advent of subscription video-on-demand, broadcast TV distributors rolled out video-on-demand options such as HBO Go enabling pay-TV subscribers to access catalog programming on-demand.

With the corporate push by ViacomCBS and Fox Corp. into ad-supported VOD — underscored by acquisitions of Pluto TV and Tubi, respectively, new data from Ampere Analysis finds American and European pay-TV operators are using ad-supported VOD (AVOD and BVOD) to deliver original programming to an increasingly digital-centric consumer.

Pluto TV earlier this year added 24 content channels for distribution in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The platform continued its distribution strategy of original content through a deal with Verizon encompassing both mobile and pay-TV.

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Tubi has begun streaming the first two seasons of Fox singing competition show “The Masked Singer” — the No. 1 show on television in its third season. It is the highest-profile program on the AVOD platform, which also added “Gordon Ramsay’s 24 Hours to Hell and Back.” All episodes of the first two seasons are now available, while current season-three episodes are available on Tubi a week following their broadcast on Fox.

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German service Joyn, a joint venture between ProSiebenSat.1 and Discovery in the U.S., has commissioned 20 original productions since launch, with shows such as the upcoming coming-of-age thriller, “Catacombs,” targeting a younger audience. Half of its unscripted originals feature YouTubers or social media influencers, with the service developing three new “reality/documentary” shows during lockdown, according to Ampere Analysis.

The London-based research firm said 30% of France Télévisions’ upcoming shows are destined for VOD, with high-profile commissions for digital platform France.tv, including “Louis XXVIII,” a sci-fi drama set in an alternate universe in which the French Revolution never happened.

“BVoD platforms were initially designed for TV catch-up viewing, but in recent years broadcasters have been investing in technical enhancements and original content to beef up their services to attract a young demographic,” Léa Cunat, senior analyst at Ampere Analysis, said in a statement.

Cunat said that while uncertainty looms large regarding return to normal for business and advertisers in the coronavirus pandemic, Ampere’s outlook for BVOD revenue growth is positive.

“We anticipate that the shift to digital marketing will be accelerated if the behaviors consumers have adopted during lockdown persist following the reopening of economies,” he said.

Lionsgate to Bow ‘The Secret: Dare to Dream’ on PVOD July 31

The Secret: Dare to Dream, based on the 2006 best-selling book The Secret, will be released on premium VOD July 31 by Lionsgate.

The film, originally slated for an April 17 theatrical release, will be available to rent at $19.99 for 48 hours.

Starring Katie Holmes, Josh Lucas, Jerry O’Connell and Celia Weston and directed by Andy Tennant, The Secret: Dare to Dream follows Miranda (Holmes), a young widow trying to make ends meet while raising her three children and dating her boyfriend (O’Connell). A devastating storm brings an enormous challenge and a mysterious man, Bray (Lucas), into Miranda’s life. Bray reignites the family’s spirit but, unbeknownst to Miranda, also holds an important secret — one that will change everything.

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The 2006 book by Rhonda Byrne, a global phenomenon that empowered millions to lead happier and more fulfilled lives, has sold more than 34 million copies worldwide, has been translated into 50 languages and appeared on The New York Times bestseller list for 190 weeks.

Sci-fi Horror Film ‘Ingenium’ Due on Demand July 7 From Level 33

The sci-fi horror film Ingenium will come out on demand July 7 from Level 33.

In the film, Felicitas’ world is turned upside down after being attacked on vacation in Bangkok. She doesn’t know if her nightmares are taking over or if something bigger is trying to control her life. The only way to find out the truth is to free her best friend Natascha from an insane asylum, as she is key to a mysterious superpower that both women were never supposed to discover.

The film won Best Horror/Sci-Fi Film at the Crystal Palace International Film Festival; Jury Prize, Best Sci-fi Film, Best Actor Esther Maaß and Best Supporting Actress Judith Hoersch at the Anatomy Crime and Horror Film Festival; Dreamer Award Outstanding Science Fiction Feature at the Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival; Directors Choice at the Cape Fear Independent Film Festival; and Best Feature and Best Actress Esther Maaß at the Paris Art and Movie Awards.

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College Sex Comedy ‘CRSHD’ Coming to VOD, EST and DVD in August

The college sex comedy CRSHD from Lightyear Entertainment will come out on VOD and digital sellthrough Aug. 4 from 1091, and on DVD Aug. 11 from  MVD Entertainment Group.

In the film executive produced by Judy McGrath, former CEO of MTV Networks, end-of-the-year celebrations are underway at a small liberal arts college in Ohio. The night’s main event is a crush party. The rules? Submit your crush, and they get an invite. Or if you’re “crushed,” you also get an invite. Self-conscious freshman Izzy Alden is still a virgin and the crush party is her last chance to do something about it before summer. Anuka and Fiona, Izzy’s best friends, help Izzy on her mission as they pursue romantic interests of their own. In millennial fashion, social media plays mediator as the girls chase their crushes in real life and online.

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CRSHD debuted at Tribeca in 2019 and played TIFF New Wave in February 2020.

‘A Thousand Miles Behind’ Motors to VOD and On Demand June 9 From Level 33

The road movie A Thousand Miles Behind will travel to VOD and on demand June 9 from Level 33 Entertainment.

From writer-director Nathan Wetherington (“True Detective”), the drama features the Scrambler Ducati, the L-twin-engined roadster motorcycle made by Ducati. It follows a grieving man who sets out on a solo trip across California after a motorcycle mysteriously turns up on his doorstep.

The film stars Greg Evigan (made-for-TV movies Once Upon a Holiday, Mail Order Bride and Poison Ivy: The Secret Society, ABC’s “General Hospital,” “Deepstar Six,” NBC’s “My Two Dads,” “B.J. and the Bear”), Jeffrey Doornbos (new Fox series “9-1-1: Lone Star,” TV Series “Wake Up, It’s Tuesday!”), Bre Blair (Last Vegas, CBS’s “S.W.A.T.,” NBC’s “Game of Silence”), Jeffrey Nicholas Brown (Nickelodeon’s “Henry Danger,” “True Blood,” “Arrested Development”) and Vanessa Campbell (Garfield the Movie).

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The film won the Best Picture Grand Jury Prize at the Portland International Motorcycle Film Festival; Best Feature Film Jury Prize at MOTOTEMATICA — Rome Motorcycle Film Festival; Best Dramatic Feature at the Rome Independent Cinema Festival; and Best Feature Film and Best Director at the Good Grain Film Festival, among other accolades.

Romance ‘Ovid and the Art of Love’ to Bow May 19 on Digital, VOD and On Demand From Level 33

The romance Ovid and the Art of Love will be released on digital, VOD and on demand May 19 from Level 33.

Set in a mash-up of contemporary Detroit and ancient Rome, the story follows a young Ovid who enrages the brutal emperor by writing a provocative guide to love and runs for his life. In a world filled with togas, hip-hop, sneakers, oration and poetry slams (think Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet or Hamilton), Ovid and the Art of Love traces the life of the popular, witty and controversial Roman poet.

The film stars Corbin Bleu, John Savage, Tara Summers, Tamara Feldman, Sam Haft, Joseph McKenna, Lailani Ledesma, Amanda Lewan, Kimberly Cruchon Brooks, Michael D. Ellison and Ashlee McLemore.

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