August 23, 2012
Vancouver startup CineCoup has reached an agreement with Cineplex Entertainment, Canada’s largest theatre chain, to bring popular indie movies into their theatres.
Theatres traditionally shy away from independent films because they are a mixed bag, full of a few blockbusters like Paranormal Activity and many duds. That means most indie films go straight to DVD or – if they’re lucky – to TV.
To separate the good from the bad, CineCoup will fund indie movies that survive a competitive selection process. Aspiring filmmakers submit ideas, the public votes and (hopefully) buzzes on social media, and an industry jury picks a winner to get financing from CineCoup.
When the winning film finally gets to theatres, it will already have a supportive audience of fans that have voted for the idea. That means theatres don’t have to worry about duds and can expect to make larger profits off each film.
It’s a move to shake up the way films are made and produced. And it comes months after Y Combinator founder Paul Graham urged startups to “kill Hollywood.” He believes the film industry is edging toward its death, and new companies should hasten it.
“We’re not out to kill Hollywood, we’re out to help them,” says COO Brian Wideen, in nice, Canadian fashion. But Hollywood might beg to differ, opposing CineCoup the way it opposed new technologies like the VCR and DVD burning.
Critics aside, CineCoup kicks off its pilot in late fall. Innovation: coming soon to a theatre near you.
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