By Anne Thompson and Jacob Combs | Thompson on Hollywood January 20, 2012 at 12:00PM
Lionsgate and Wrekin Hill Entertainment are teaming up to try a controversial distribution strategy for Wrekin Hill's upcoming action film "Dark Tide": release it on video before it gets to theaters.
U.S. rights to the underwater adventure, directed by John Stockwell and starring Halle Berry, were acquired by Wrekin Hill. Lionsgate will make the film available for streaming through a Video-on-Demand service. The full theatrical release will take place on March 30th. "Melancholia" and "London Boulevard" are among recent films to follow this increasingly popular "premium" VOD pattern, which works best on films with name stars. Exhibitors do not like it.
Stockwell is a director who is perhaps more comfortable in the water than out of it: he previously helmed the films "Blue Crush" and "Into the Blue." In "Dark Tide," Berry plays a shark expert haunted by the attack that killed a member of her team. Add in an ex-boyfriend and a millionaire business man who likes to get his kicks from danger, and...well, you get what this is going.
Wrekin Hill released Peter Weir's "The Way Back" and has Zhang Yimou's "Flowers of War" in current release.