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Lionsgate, Wrekin Hill to Release "Dark Tide" on VOD Before Theatrical Run

Thompson on Hollywood 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.
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Dark Tide

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.

This article is related to: Halle Berry, Lionsgate, Box Office, Box Office, Independents


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.