At a time when so many theaters are forced to close, the newly released Phoenix, Oregon is coming to the rescue in a different sort of way.
This weekend is a major first in movie history. There are no studio films opening this weekend. The ones hitting VOD on Friday were still playing in theaters entering last weekend. Life as we know it changed when theaters were ordered to close in New York and Los Angeles. Other cities or states followed suit. Only 400-500 theaters remain open but they must surely be struggling at the box office.
While other films are opting to postpone their release, others are going the Digital/VOD route. The thing with the latter is that indie theaters that would screen those films end up hurting in the process. This is where Phoenix, Oregon is coming to the rescue. If you click on this link, you can get the option of watching the film at home for only $6.50. The matinee price is less costly than the new releases asking $19.99 for a 48-hour rental. Renting the film also means a 50/50 split. The producers keep half while the theaters that were set to screen the film still end up benefiting in the process.
The theatrical-at home option is only available for people living in the USA and Canada. That being said, if theaters set to screen the film remain open, they still have an opportunity to show it. Though with the current CDC guidelines, the theaters will more than likely be closed.
For the time being, there isn’t an option to watch the film in a Digital/VOD setting. The filmmakers have chosen to honor the theatrical model through the one-time link. It’s rather admirable if you ask me!
Phoenix, Oregon is about a graphic novelist and chef that decide to reinvent their lives and restore an old bowling alley. The film stars James Le Gros, Jesse Borrego, Lisa Edelstein, Reynaldo Gallegos, Diedrich Bader, and Kevin Corrigan. Gary Lundgren writes and directs.
Ryan Bruce Levey, Levey Distribution and PR:
“This is an attempt to alleviate some stress from the locally owned theaters, who are the backbone of independent cinema. We are not offering a ‘day and date’ option, we are offering an opportunity to see our film and support those in need during this crisis, the small businesses/theaters. The DVD and video-on-demand release will come later, but for now, we want to stand by those theaters that stood by us.”
Annie Lundgren, producer:
“We want to encourage safety for our audiences while also supporting the theaters who have committed to our release. We also want to be responsible world citizens while figuring out how to support those theaters, movie fans, and each other. This is different than a ‘day and date’ release in that all of the digital streaming revenues are shared 50/50 directly with the theaters, rather than cutting them out when they need help the most.”