Considering I just published a review of the absolutely wonderful Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop, I figured it would be a good idea to run a piece on the news that broke here at SXSW about the film’s distribution deal. Deadline seemed to nab the story first– that the film would actually be employing three separate distribution partners, each of which will tackle a different release platform.
Abramorama is the distribution endeavor of producer Richard Abramowitz, who specializes in getting indie films into theaters and other platforms, and it will be taking charge of the theatrical end of the release. The P&A and marketing budget will come from AT&T, who will also lay claim to a mobile-device release over their propietary AT&T U-verse network. Well-known mini-major Magnolia will round out the deal, taking care of home video and whatever other on-demand and online streaming releases end up happening.
This trifecta of partners represents a vote on confidence in the documentary, which debuted strongly at SXSW and has played to roaring audiences in each screening. As I explain in the review, Director Rodman Flender has crafted a really special documnentary that is most certainly a crowd-pleaser and will play well to Conan fans and beyond.
I would expect to see more deals like this in the future, as companies specialize more in new media releases, and money gets tighter and tighter. A single company isn’t going to be able to put all their chips into a single film anymore, so carving up and diversifying your release slate is the way to go. This kind of arrangement should be good for the fans as it preserves a theatrical release for those who are really excited about the crowd experience, but makes it widely available for those that are just hungry for it, or may not have access to the kind of theater that would show it.
In any event, congratulations to the Coco camp on a great deal and a great doc.
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